Pt 23 – Popeye’s, Fighter Jets & Prejudice

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

After breakfast, we booked transport to the airport and packed up most of our belongings. That is, excluding the clothing that was still damp from kayaking through Halong Bay, which we draped out in front of a fan. We strolled throughout town, then grabbed Chicken Pho for lunch. A drunk guy that was passing through worshiped Trevor’s beard as we ate.


We returned to the hotel to unwind a bit before it was time to begin the journey home. When we check out of the hostel, the staff asked us to give them a good Trip Advisor rating while handing us two HaNoi beers as we waited for our ride. Bribery sometimes works, folks! Truthfully, they deserved it; we enjoyed our stay.

We were transported to the airport, and had to wait a while before we could check in and pass through security to get to our terminal. Although we had been mostly vegetarian for the past couple years with only a handful of splurges, we had another one at the airport. Trevor convinced me that eating “Popeye’s” in a Vietnamese airport was a good idea, and I should have just trusted my gut, which was now hurting. You can’t really expect Louisiana-style fried chicken to be just as tasty in Vietnam as it is in the U.S. Although, I have to say Pizza Hut in India was surprisingly on point.

Our guts would soon have to get used to eating garbage, so it was a good prep. We’d return to a carnivorous, and processed food diet soon enough when we’d start our journey on the Appalachian Trail in a little over a week.

Once we were boarded, Qatar Airlines had a very funny soccer-themed (sorry, “football-themed”) safety video featuring Lionel Messi, and we’d enjoy “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with actual plane turbulence during the fighter jet scenes.

After a technical stop in Bangkok, and many movies later, we’d touch down in Doha, Qatar. We’d experience the kind of prejudice that so many Central Asian people must experience when traveling to the States. Airport security treated us like suspected terrorists and ransacked out luggage, tossing our belongings on the floor beyond our reach around a crowd of people. Fortunately, nothing was broken or stolen in the process. After a long wait, we’d take the long flight home. We’d only have ten days to scramble to get everything prepared for our next adventure, hiking the Appalachian Trail!

Jump Back to Part 22: Paint By Numbers, Mechanics & Lanterns

Jump Back to the Beginning of Vietnam at Part 1: Busing Across the Border to Ho Chi Minh City


Start From the Very Beginning in Nepal at Part 1: Don’t Forget to Pack Your Anxiety

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