Today wasn’t exactly busy. I went for a wander to the supermarket with an Irish guy who now lives in Belgium. Earlier he’d been for a walk for lunch and got talking to some Vietnamese – in German! He was heading for Sapa in the evening and needed some supplies for the train. I accidentally bought several bags of crisps and some sweets for myself. Whoops.
After I got back, Fiona was wandering down to the Post Office. Rather than sit on the couch and veg, I had a walk down with her and met another English couple there who seemed to be sending a substantial amount of Vietnam back home in a box. The staff here are very helpful, packaging everything securely for a small fee, and helping with the multitude of documents required. Lunch was a gorgeous BLT sandwich and a rather unusual “Italian” fruit drink which was incredibly sweet and had cream in it. Nice, though.
Shortly after we got back, a Korean girl who had recently arrived came through the door in tears. Some motorbike driver had ripped her off using the age-old technique of bullying someone smaller than himself. He took it upon himself to wait for her as she went round the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and grounds, then decided he’d show her the Old Quarter on the way back – she wanted to come straight to the hostel.
Eventually, he parked up in front of the opera house where there were no tourists or police and tried to up his initial 30,000d quote to 170,000d! Eventually, her cries and the fact that he was physically grabbing her, brought the attention of some locals who bartered him down to 90,000 on her behalf. Shaken, she walked back to the hostel in the heat to be greated by Michael and myself.
After a glass of iced water and someone to blub it all out to, she seemed a lot better. Telling her about all the bad luck the Danes have had seemed to help! Although she booked separately, her and the Irish/Belgian guy departed to Sapa together. They’ll be apart on the train but in the same group when they get there and I’m sure he’ll keep an eye out for her.
I pretty much sat on my backside the rest of the night. With great joy, I managed to get BBC Radio Newcastle online and listened to their match commentary as we won 3-0 away from home in the Intertoto. A couple of startled people jumped at the PCs when I yelled with each goal!