Chapter 1: The Two Gentlemen
7 May 2016: Its
monday saturday and I'm getting in the airplane to Ho Chi Minh City
and this is my first solo backpack trip to foreign country, Vietnam.
|copy right: wilma shana|
While waiting for the flight to depart, I met this two gentleman also it was their first time backpacking to foreign country and it was their first time travel by airplane. We talked a lot, I shared how it feels for the time travel by airplane, that feeling when the flight started to depart and to landing (You might somehow read this funny but everyone feel the same for the first time). Since the disappeared of MH370, MH17 crashed after being hit by a Russian-made Buk missile and QZ8501 crashed, I admit it that I'm afraid sometimes. What if the same thing happen to the flight that I was in? Its scared me but then I leave it all to Allah. Back to the two gentlemen, they don’t have any preparation since they come all the way from Perlis to Penang to catch the flight. They haven’t change their money and they don’t really know what to do once their reach there. I lend them my dong (Vietnam money) just enough for the bus fare.
|copy right: wilma shana|
Around 1.15pm, AK 1502 safely landed at Saigon airport, I wasn’t in rush and walk to the shop that selling sim card. Surprisingly, that two gentlemen waiting for me and we taking bus no. 152 to Bent Thanh Saigon bus stop which the fare 5000 dong per person. I remember all the tips I have read in blogs, we should not put our backpack on the chair because they will count it as one person fare. So, I just hugged my backpack and enjoying view from the bus. I was in shock, my eyes open widely, traffic in this city are insane and noisy. A lot of motorcycle user and it seem like there are no traffic rules, they make U turn whenever they like, they don’t care about cars distance to each other and people just simple walk through the heavy traffic without any fear. Its like they have their own understanding and communication using the road.
It was a long journey, after hour of shock we finally reach to our destination and there is another problem, these two gentlemen didn’t know where to go and where is their hotel located. So since I had bought simcard and have internet, I offer to help them using my phone to find their hotel location and more, since I didn’t book any hotel I decide to go with them and trying my luck to stay at the same hotel if there are rooms available. The hotel located in district one but it was hard to find, we do lost and went to opposite direction of Phan Ngu Lao Street, the hotel located in that street.
“Welcome” the reception greet us cheerfully
“Hi, these two guys already book a room through booking.com and I wonder if there any room available for me?” I don’t know but its looks like I have become their spoke person.
“You stay together in one room?’ He said it with his local accent. I don’t know if its a statement or a question but for sure it surprised me. I’m laughing.
“No, I mean I want another room for me. How much it is for two nights” I'm trying to have a negotiation with him.
“Oh okay, we have one room and its cost 400,000 dong for two nights” He said while showing me the number in his old school calculator. I agree to the price and he holds our passports since we didn’t pay full. Just like in Thailand, it’s a norm to the hotel to holds your passports if you pay during checkout. We decide to take a rest and going out to the Bent Thant night market together at 4pm.
|View from my room. Copy Right: Wilma Shana|
It’s a budget hotel, six floor with no lift and I was lucky they have empty room for single and not lucky enough because its located in the sixth floor. So we stay there for 2 nights and I try my best to use the stairs as little as I can. Unlike other budget hotel for single room, the room quite big with its own toilet in the room and I got everything I need such as mini fridge, flat screen TV, air condition and queen bedroom even though the room look shabby but its provide everything that essential to me.
...to be continue..
teaser of chapter 2: The Vietnamese...
"they were pulling their stall using their motorcycle while other hand in the motorcycle handle, the other hand and feet holding part of their stall in weird position..."