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Love, Sweat and Tears in Hoi An

By on Sep 3, 2010 in Vietnam | 0 comments

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Hello, What’s Your Name?

A three week adventure around Vietnam.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

“Peter! Listen to me, I need a taxi!” my beloved wife said sternly to me.
My Response: “I can’t find a taxi! It’s not my fault there are none around, don’t get narky with me”.
Her Response: “I’m not getting narky; you’re bloody lost and can’t admit it”.
My Response: “I’m not lost, I know where we are, and the map doesn’t lie” (Apparently it does).
Her Response: “The man back there said we were lost and you told him he was wrong”.
My Response: “What do you want me to do then?”
Her Response: “Well, I’m going to ask the person over there to call a taxi!”
My Response: “Nic, she doesn’t speak English and we don’t speak Vietnamese”.
Her Response: “arhhhh you’re so frustrating”
My Response: “you’re so frustrating”.
My Response: “Nic don’t cry, it won’t help us”

Yes my dear readers, Niki and I were having an expedition into our first marital argument whilst lost in the quiet suburbs of Hoi An. Today, Vietnam decided to throw everything as us and we fell to our knees.

Rule No. 6 of being married – Don’t tell your wife not to cry, because it probably your fault that she is in the first place.

Niki and I were feeling a little stressed this morning and for good reason, we had just spent 12 hours on an overnight train from Sapa arriving into Hanoi at 4am, before jumping onto a plane bound for Danang, then catching a taxi to the local bus station to jump on the most horned obsessed crazy local bus we have ever travelled on. After stopping and starting for over an hour, we then walked 3 kms into the remote suburbs, the complete opposite direction to our hotel all whilst swimming in 38 degree heat with our huge packs on. Needless to say, things were getting a little heated between us. Now being a man, I take full responsibility… and blame it on my guide book for not telling me there was a second bus stop, which incidentally is where we were dropped off. And due to this reason it was no way my fault for Niki and I being lost. Yes, I told the local man who was trying to help me he was wrong, but that’s the benefit of hindsight.

Bus Ride from Danang to Hoi An, Vietnam

Bus Ride from Danang to Hoi An, Vietnam

So when I finally found our way, with Niki close to tears, sweat pouring off her from the ridiculously hot walk, me steaming that I was lost, Niki did the only normal thing to do upon entry to a hotel – she fainted! It was no little “Peter I don’t feel so good”, drop to the floor type of faint, it was a climbing up the steps to inspect our room type of faint. One of those moments when I get the chance to act out my Doctor fantasy’s and yell out “we need water here stat! And Nurse mop my brow”.  I’ve never seen so many hotel staff run around before and as she gained consciousness again, I quickly stuck my head in the room, said it looks great and hurried Niki onto the bed. For the next 4 days, everyone would  make sure Niki was treated like a Queen.

The Phuoc An Hotel was one of the best budget hotel’s I stayed in in Vietnam, if not the best. The staff were genuinely friendly and all gave excellent service, the rooms were immaculate, the breakfast great and of course free bikes into the town was an added bonus. I would highly recommend you staying here.

Overloaded in Sapa

Overloaded in Sapa

This was also about the time in our trip that my battle with Giardia finally stopped me in my tracks, I couldn’t move anymore without feeling sick, keeling over due to severe cramps and running to the toilet. It was to the point that I needed to get medication, admit myself to Hospital or take out my pocket knife and slice out my bowel – I preferred the medication option. So after Niki was feeling a bit better we hurried down to the local chemist to get some antibiotics to nuke my bowels.

We needed Tinidazole and we knew we could get it over the counter, but not before a game of charades to explain my symptoms. With six people involved and a lot of hand gestures we finally got our message across with the help of a friendly lady who walked in off the street. Who then, with me obviously just explaining my severe problems and sense of urgency as I was holding on for dear life, said “do you want to come down to my Sister’s tailor shop”. Which I politely smiled and said “Umm not right now, I need to go back to bed”. Obviously not letting go that easy and here I thought I might get leniency as I was dying, she said “It won’t take long”.  Which I apologetically responded “Sorry, but it won’t take me long till I burst” and with that I run back to the hotel to sleep for the next 24 hours. The adventures into Hoi An would have to wait for another day and needless to say, things were just warming up…