Good morning Vietnam!
07.06.2008 - 07.06.2008
Today we were up at about 5am, and ready for breakfast! We putzed around the room for a bit and then headed downstairs to greet the day. The lobby was already alive with activity, since our room included breakfast (and dinner), people were down there eating. Breakfast was a baguette with butter and jam and coffee or tea. So we obliged the girl offering us our breakfast, and sat down to eat. We weren’t really full from just a bit of bread, so we headed out to Café Zoom for some more Vietnamese coffee and omelets. I didn’t realize that baguettes are so popular here, but you get them for breakfast with pretty much anything you order.
We sat there in amazement as the motorbikes passed us by – so many people on their way to work!
Venturing back out into the heat of the day, we opted to check out the War Remnants Museum, not too far from where we had breakfast. As the museum closed at noon, we had to hustle (i.e. shuffle along slowly so as to not get heat stroke!). We made it in plenty of time to see more than enough – I believe we saw 5 of the 7 buildings/displays. It was a very sobering experience. I hadn’t seen any of these pictures of people (of ALL ages) who had been injured by phosphorus bombs, and agent orange bombs.
There was one whole room dedicated to giving you the play by play of the tortures people in prison camps endured. Women had snakes put up their pant legs while they were held down. Top halves of people’s heads would be shaved, and then the person would be strapped to a chair, while water would drip on them, drop by drop by drop. Each drop felt like a heavy blow to the brain. One I found particular disturbing (of course, they all are) was this: a hose is inserted into your nose, all the way to your stomach, as you’re strapped flat on your back to a board – declined with your head lower than your feet. Into the hose they would pour limey water, or sometimes soapy water, until your stomach would bloat in a strange way. Then they would punch and kick you in the stomach until bloody discharge would come out of your nose and mouth. Did I mention that you’re gagged as well? …terrible, awful, nasty things…I can’t imagine laughing and watching someone suffer.
I was wiped out by that experience, so we headed back to the room for a nap to revive our tortured souls. And then the rains came! There was thunder and lightening and a terrific downpour that lasted about 2 hours. We ventured out after the worst of it stopped to find the street in front of our hotel flooded.
We slogged through to find some pho…tasty tasty! We each had a bowl of the noodle soup and a soda, and the bill came to 49,000 dong, which is about $3. …I think we napped again at that point, but I’m not sure…we’ve been sleeping a lot! Later that night we grabbed a quick dinner down the street and went back to sleep. Jet lag is hell!
All in all, I loved Saigon, but I’m still unimpressed by the food. =(