Last Day in Saigon

Today we finally had the chance to sleep late so we didn’t get up until 10:15am, despite cats having a brawl outside of the window around 7:30.  Saigon has some really odd city sounds.  I packed my luggage but still had to get another suitcase to carry all of my purchases that were still in the basement of the Red Sun.  We dressed and went downstairs to get a sense of where we could find these 2 electronic stores that the place last night had said would have an AC adapter for a Sony laptop.  We hopped in a cab and went to the first place…and they did not have an adapter, great.  This area was filled with nothing but computer stores, so we went back outside and went in the first place we saw.  It was a small store with all sorts of random computer stuff.  After explaining the situation, the man left the store on his moto without saying a word.  We were offered chairs to sit down and about 5 minutes later the guy returns with a bag of 3 laptop adapters.  It seemed to fit the bill, so $20 later, we were out of there and decided to walk towards the market. We stopped at the same hotel that we had stopped at to get the recommendation about the Chinese restaurant.  We got another recommendation for a place to eat, Temple Club, and decided to head there for lunch.  It was in walking distance so we braved the traffic, crossed the crazy rotary, and found the restaurant.  Surprisingly, it was really really nice.  Of course, we were seated in a private room all by ourselves.  We had these really good beef roll up things with mint leaves for an appetizer and I had a chicken dish that was just really incredible.  Dave had ribs, and I even tried one, which wasn’t so shocking because I’ve had them twice before and liked them.  It wasn’t even that expensive and it was a really really nice place.  Upon leaving, they gave me a bracelet made from some type of flower (lotus blossom I’m being told), which was actually really cool and I pretty much smelled my wrist for the rest of the day.  After that, we walked back towards the market, stopping at a few electronic stores on the way and looking at handheld gaming systems.  We went in the market with the intention of me getting some luggage but ended up stopping at a perfume stall.  They were selling all sorts of perfumes for $5 each!  We had discovered this last week, but now we were thinking of really buying something and selling it on ebay.  Dave bought 3 bottles and I (stupidly, in hindsight), bought one bottle of Chanel Allure.  We exited the market and went back to the luggage stores that we had gone to a week ago.  I got a carry-on sized Polo rolling suitcase for $9 and we headed back towards the hotel.  On the way, we stopped at the market that had the cheep Jager and the delicious oriental snacks.  Mmm, good plane food.

Sadly, we no longer had a room at the Red Sun, so we hung out in the unairconditioned lobby and I packed my new suitcase with all of my purchases.  I went on the computer there and Dave tried his new adapter….which didn’t work!  Back to the store!  It turned out that one of the pins was bent or something so in 5 minutes we were hailing another cab to go back to the hotel.  We were getting really used to Saigon prices and we turned down at least 2, I think 3, cabs before finding one that would take us back for $1.   Back at the hotel, Dave named the pics and burned me a cd of everything.  Randomly he suggested Indian food for dinner!  My favourite!  I was pretty excited to go, so we took our suitcases back down to the hotel basement and went to find the restaurant.  This place was really cute and Dave got chicken tikka masala and I got shrimp vindaloo.  We also got 2 orders of buttered naan.  SOO good.  I really loved Indian food, and I know that Dave liked it too, so it was a really good last meal together.  Midway through, the power went out, so the owner (?) appeared in seconds with a small candle that he stuck to the table with wax, and a few minutes after that he came with another, larger candle.  It was actually pretty nice sitting there by candlelight, eating delicious food during our last few hours in Saigon.  I’m really going to miss this place.

Back at the hotel, we said goodbye to the Red Sun and got a cab to the airport.  Its funny – a week ago we were driving through the city from the airport and I was clutching the seat because of the madness of the traffic.  Now…perfectly normal.  We got to the airport pretty quickly and Dave checked in….then we found out that I wasn’t allowed to until 9!  So Dave went through security and I stood at the Al Nippon counter, just tapping my foot….until 8:55 when I was allowed to check in.  After a painfully slow check-in (I think the guy was new), I went through immigration and security, then found Dave’s gate.  He was there arguing/talking with the counter people about why he had to board so early.  It was only a few minutes past 9, so I really didn’t understand why anyone was on the plane yet.  Finally, they made him board, even though it was only the time when boarding was supposed to begin.  That was pretty sad, so I just walked back up the escalator and stood there for a few minutes, all alone in Vietnam 🙁   I made my way to the duty free and got a bottle of vodka (Raspberri), some candy for Bri (who I’ll see in Boston), and some m&m’s and gummy bears for me.  After that, well there really wasn’t a whole lot to do, so I just sort of sat there….  I ended up meeting there 2 Australian guys who had just come from Hanoi and told me how great it was.  Awww.  Actually, they said it was like ‘communism the theme park’, which sounded pretty fun actually!  They really preferred it over Saigon and I wish we had had the time to get up there.  Oh well, visa’s still good for a little longer, hahah yea right.  Btw, Australian accent, wicked hard to understand and not hot in the least bit.  I don’t know how I ever thought it was.  Anyways, soon they left to catch their flight to Sydney (which was delayed, unlike Dave’s flight, of course), and I went down to wait at the gate.  I charged my ipod for a bit and basically just sat there, not wanting to read and not wanting to sleep.  I was moderately excited for Japan but generally upset that the vacation was coming to an end.  Finally, it was 11:30, so we started to board.  I boarded pretty much last and noticed that I was certainly the only white person on the entire plane.  S’ok.  I had a window seat and I fell asleep not long after taking off despite my best intentions.  I woke up after a few hours and was very uncomfortable and my legs hurt a lot.  I got up and walked around, managing to step over the man next to me without waking him, and we were served some noodle thing before landing in Tokyo at 7:50am!

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