Tu Sei Tom Cruise

July 22, 2011

My journey is nearly over. After 19 days and 10 900kms I have entered my final week inAsia. The time for reflection shall be later, for now let me tell you about my last few days, as they have been hectic, harrowing, humbling and happy (yes I know, quite uninspiring).

We spent our only full day in Saigonon a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels. They are pretty much a bunch of underground tunnels used by the Vietcong during the War. As westerners are too fat to fit into the tunnels, we were only able to go through one. It’s hard for me to express how it felt. Basically you are two metres underground, it’s obviously pitch black and the only way to fit is to either crouch right down or crawl on all fours (both options I explored). 40 metres in the tunnel seemed like an eternity. Its flustering and by the time we finally reached the end and gasped for air, we were drenched in sweat. Not heat sweat, as it’s quite cool underground, but sweat from fear, anxiety and discomfort. We were glad we did it though, as it’s quite an important part of the history of the War.’We paid some money to shoot some M16’s, the US’s choice gun during the War, a bit of an unforced error, as it wasn’t as much fun as we hoped.

We left Loukas with not much more than a ‘cya mate’ and immediately got a $5 massage. When we got into the place we realised it was pretty seedy. I endured an hour of pain and discomfort. My girl boy  girl dug her knees right up and down my spine. It was truly terrible and four days later and I’m only just feeling better. After the massage, she gave me the eyes, followed by the look down to my crotch and then pointed to another room. I politely declined, much to her surprise and disgust.

It was time to leave Nam and we decided the best way was to go by boat along the Mekong to Phnom Penh, as the Delta was something we thought we really wanted to see. The tour was horrible. We were ripped off several times, the river itself was quite uninteresting and we spent a night in the worst hotel I have ever been too. Only four things went some way towards redeeming our experience.

1-     Young people on the tour, a first for us this holiday.

2-     There was an Italian family with us, giving me the chance to brush up on my rusty native tongue. They were impressed and seemed to understand. John, recalling his glory days learning Italian in primary school, wanted to say this to the couple as we left them.

To the attractive 30-something wife– Tu Sei Bella
To her husband
– Tu Sei Tom Cruise (He really looked like him)
To the wife- Arrivedeci Bella
To the husband- Arrivedeci stupido

In the end he decided against it. Disappointing Ehhhh.

3-     We visited a crocodile farm, where they are bred  for eating (they actually taste alright). In true Bonello family tradition, I decided I had to antagonize one of these monster crocs. I threw twigs at a massive one hoping he would snap or at least whip his tail at me. He remained asleep so an American guy we met decided to take it a step further. He pulled a banana out of his bag and threw pieces at one. The croc remained motionless. With his last piece it landed on the crocs head with a slap and stuck there. We all cracked up, but the animal didn’t budge. We decided it would probably be too far to throw the peel.

4-     The final redeeming experience on this tour happened when we were at the hotel. Late one night we ventured down the street of this tiny town looking for some beer. We found a group of about 10 guys sitting around a table drinking and eating. They invited us over and we felt only too obliged to join them. They started passing round shots of rice wine to which we would shout ‘1 2 3 4 skull’ in Vietnamese. As a chaser they gave us these clams dipped in a chili sauce. It was amazing. We sat, drank, talked and ate for about 30 minutes with these guys. It was probably my favourite moment on this trip and something I won’t forget for a while.

Anyway this entry is much longer than I anticipated so I am going to leave it there. In a couple of days I’ll write again about Cambodia. We’ve visited the killing fields, home to the slaughter of millions of Cambodian’s in the 1970’s. Today we hit up Angkor Wat. It’s supposedly a big deal, I’ll be the judge of that. And we have been staying in a 5 star hotel for the last couple of days which has also been a culture shock for us. Until then…

Sup Yo!

:: By huw bizzle 1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. It’s usually the unscripted moments that make us happiest. Glad you’ve had a highlight. :-)

    Comment by Glue — July 23, 2011 #

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