The cheap noodle soup we ate at lunch time sat awkwardly in our bellies soon after we ate it. We just put up with it and enjoyed our last night in China with the insane doorman of the hotel restaurant. He was so pleased when we understood his English that he was laughing like some kind of mental case for a good 2 minutes after every sentence. When we told him in Chinese that the food was lovely he was nearly giggling himself into an early grave. We all counted to 20 together in Chinese, can you imagine the state of him after that? A very very fun way to spend our last evening in China. Nice to go out on a high. Or so we thought…..
Neither of us slept. The cheap noodle soup was expanding to unearthly proportions inside our bellies. By 4am some workmen we battering the living daylights out of something or other hanging off a crane outside our window. John was disappearing at ever increasing frequencies in the direction of the loo. Oh dear.
We got up at 6.30, I was feeling tired but OK. John said the thought he’d be alright. We boarded the train for the border. After only half an hour John was draped over the table feeling terrible. We discussed getting a hotel at the border and staying around but he started to feel much better once he got off into the fresh air.
Apart from John being repeatedly asked if he had a gun at Vietnamese customs the crossing was slow but OK. We found no transport once we arrived in Vietnam and so reluctantly accepted a taxi ride. It was a scam. We were deposited at a petrol station in the middle of nowhere where a minibus to Hanoi conveniently appeared demanding six times the local rate as a fare. I was getting very ill indeed by this point and we had no choice. The next 3 and a half hours were the kind that get atheists like me praying to anyone who might exist or listen. My insides were angry at the noodle soup and they didn’t care whether they ejected it upwards or downwards. The more I resisted the more ill I became and the more every bump in the road required upmost determination to cope with.
The hostel staff at Hanoi were like angels. They let us straight into the room and drove John around town on the back of a motorbike looking for remedies. I was as ill as ever and spent the night and the whole of the following day without even leaving our room. John still wasn’t all that well himself and really pulled all the stops out for me. Thank you. Today we are finally both fully recovered – just. We’ve been in Hanoi for 3 days.
We’ve not yet tried the local speciality food of Hanoi – Noodle Soup.
Other last stories from China.
The only notable thing really was our journey from Yangshuo to Nanning. We said our goodbyes to Wei (father person) and his family. Wei’s niece came to help us flag down the bus. We estimate her to be between 16 and 19, she works like a slave cooking and cleaning. She was working when we got up, she was working when we went to bed. Every day. She somehow seems really happy and is always cheery and giggly, we really warmed to her. Wei, although not an unpleasant man in any way, never lifted a finger to help his wife (also lovely) or niece. I know this is not Britain but China with totally different cultural values but I couldn’t help lose a little respect for him. I’m going away to do more exciting things and kept thinking about Wei’s niece doing the same boring thing forever. Waiting for the bus I had an uncontrollable urge to take her with us and save her from a life of endless domestic chores. I’m confused, she would hate me to do that and seems to be happy. Not sure what to think.
The antics on the bus soon distracted us from our sad thoughts. People were being kicked off the bus only to be picked up again minutes later. The driver and conductor were arguing furiously. Later the driver was stopped and fined for having too many people on board. Ahh! The penny drops. Some people had to get off. They were picked up less than 100 metres away, barely out of eye shot of the police. Amusing.
John will write a post about Vietnam soon, we’re liking it so far. Next up will be the China round up.
Take care everyone.
Love Viv xx