Tuesday, 5 April 2011

To Can Tho


I've booked my bus ticket to Can Tho, in the Mekong Delta, and will be heading off tomorrow morning. It also looks like it could be the most complicated bus journey I've ever undertaken. It has already proven to be quite a task.

I had a little business card from the bus company saying that they go to Can Tho and Mui Ne and Da Lat and Nha Trang etc etc. So I wandered over to the offices this morning and asked for a ticket to Can Tho. Unfortunately the lady who was helping me didn't speak much English, but she explained to me that if I want to go south I have to go to their other offices. She then showed me the address on the business card. I looked at my little map of central HCMC to see if I could find the street, but failed. I handed the map over to the lady and asked her to mark the spot. She drew a little dot right on the edge of my map. The road she had pointed out to me was only just visible on the map and was too small to have the street name shown.

I gauged that it was within walking distance and set off. It took me about half an hour to get there, but it was easy enough to find.

Now you're probably wondering why I said this could be a complicated bus journey. I'll explain. I'd bought the ticket and was told I need to be back there at 7 the next morning. An hour before my bus was due to leave. I asked why I needed to be there so much earlier and was told that there is a bus that will pick me up and take me to the 'big bus station' where I'll find another bus to take me to Can Tho. This would ordinarily be an easy thing to do, take a bus there, switch buses and head to Can Tho. No problem.

Well, it would be easy if people spoke English. It could prove to be a little more challenging to try communicate with people in different languages.

It should be a great experience though and I relish the challenge.

It rained last night. I was having supper and a bia hoi and there was lightning around. To be brutally honest I was disappointed with the weather's meager performance last night. The rain telegraphed its arrival like a real amateur and I was able to get under an umbrella long before it started raining. Rain like that happens in South Africa all the time. I expected more from the weather. I wanted raindrops the size of kittens and rivers forming where streets used to be. I wanted tourists to be flailing around screaming "the horror... the horror!"

Only damp dong

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