Riding my bicycle across Vietnam
I did manage to take a little walk in the morning, stumbling my way through town to the local market. I was on the hunt for bananas. I felt feeble, mostly due to dehydration and hunger - I’m sure. I hadn’t eaten anything since the previous morning. Even in my sub-par state, I tried to enjoy the town and the market a little bit. It was the typical Vietnamese scene, vendors everywhere, wares spread out on the ground. Fish, meat, vegetables, clothing, everything. The channels between vendors were small, made even more so by the scooters moving through at a walking pace. It was the bustle that I had gotten used to.
It was a real shame walking back to the hotel, as I sized up several restaurants that looked really nice. I had everything packed up in my room, payed 200k for my room (~$8.50USD) and met my driver, a nice guy who helped me pack everything into the back of his Toyota SUV. The bike fit in the back like a dream. I climbed into the front seat, armed with bananas and water bottles. The trip passed quickly, I was sleeping on and off, sipping water or nibbling on a banana in the waking moments, watching the scenery go by from the front seat.
It was a bittersweet feeling watching the last 75 miles expire in air conditioned luxury. Doubtlessly, it was the right choice not to try to muddle through. Being sick, and especially dehydrated in the Vietnam heat could have turned an uncomfortable situation into a dangerous one. So I didn’t quite make it from Hanoi to Saigon, but I think that 1,880kms / 2,000 is a pretty good effort - I’m certainly proud of it.
I am really lucky to be spending the next week with my mom’s friend’s brother, Brad, in an apartment building in the Thao Dien neighborhood in District 2 of Saigon - I’ll write about that more in a different post.
The rest of the afternoon passed well enough, mostly consisting of me sleeping. I did make it out of the apartment for a Christmas dinner at Brad’s restaurant, a classic American diner just a few minutes walk from the apartment building. Admittedly, the milkshake and cheesecake was probably a bit too ambitious, but I didn’t hurl. The meat platter, mashed potatoes, and green beans all went down well enough - tasty too. It was good to be done with the biking, but I still have a bit of time left for a couple of other fun activities and some relaxation before I say goodbye to Vietnam.