Monday, March 7th, 2016 continued…
“Crack Them Up” was really starting to get on my nerves, and there was no escaping it since they were running a TV marathon. I was feeling left out since everyone else on the bus was laughing along, and I had no idea what was so funny. I was almost grateful when they switched it to a US movie called “The Jackal,” but would lose interest since it was the Vietnamese version. The dialogue was in English, but the audio was overtaken by a Vietnamese-speaking female narrator. Occasionally there were English subtitles on the screen, but it only popped up when the Russian characters were talking.
I tried napping but suddenly found myself amused by the incredibly long tunnels we were driving through. Trevor was asleep so I poked at him. He wasn’t too thrilled. He was irritated since he was in a meditative state, trying to not think about how badly he had to poop, and I ruined his zen. I offered to walk to the front of the bus to see if I could get them to pull over somewhere He initially opposed the idea, but shortly after, he’d change his mind.
The driver and his assistant didn’t know English, and I didn’t know Vietnamese, but I had my trusty app that claimed to say the word “toilet” in Vietnamese for me. I played the recording over and over, and the assistant held it close to his ear, struggling to comprehend. He looked back at me confused, having no clue what the app was saying.
When all else fails, play charades! I went ahead using hand gestures and body language, hoping it would help him understand. This was much to my embarrassment. One, because I had to mime something coming out of my butt, and two, now this stranger, and possibly most of the people on the bus, were visualizing me pooping.
My efforts were a success, or so I thought. The bus pulled over, and I tapped Trevor to let him know relief was near. Trevor got off the bus and panicked. On either side of the bus was a swampy rice field. Everywhere else, including the road behind the bus, had him completely exposed to a bus load of people who were now all staring at him. He ended up getting back on the bus. He was determined to hold it in. There were several more stops to drop off other passengers before he would find salvation.
Once he did, we found a taxi to take us to “Hai Phuong Hotel,” then searched for a tour company that included the beautiful and massive Hang Son Doong Cave. Wherever we went, the price was way out of the budget. The most affordable one costs a whopping $1,000! This would make more sense later on when I learned that the cave was only discovered three years prior, and that this was the first year that they were allowing tours inside. I was bummed out, but it is what it is.
Attached to one of the tour agencies was a restaurant called “Allez Boo’s” where we ordered some pizza, and tried a local beer called “Huda,” while utilizing their ‘buy two, get one free’ happy hour special. As we sipped on our brews, we watched motocross on the TV, while listening to “Let Me Take A Selfie”.
As we wandered around town, we giggled at the tourists riding around in Cyclo’s. We’d joke that once you sat in one, you’d age 20 years. As you might be able to guess, they were mostly used by seniors. We ended up booking a cave tour through our hotel. It wasn’t Hang Son Doong Cave, but it would do.
Jump Ahead to Part 13: Dragon Boats, A Pagoda & A Pervert in the Park
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Busing Across the Border to Ho Chi Minh City