Asia Reflections July 2013

Asia trip reflections

Wed Jul 10

I love the fact that Angkor wat is so big that one needs to start eliminating 1000 yo temples due to lack of decoration bc of time.

Fri jul 12

Motor bike for rent. Saigon death wish.

Clever way to use old plastic bottles make a trash  can.

They certainly pack them in on the tour minivan.

How come when I take 2 million dong from the ATM it seems like a lot of money but is less than US$100?

Bonus war museum entry is only $.75

War remnants museum. Very sad to see all the destruction & they seem to have gone light on the gory pictures.

Check out the figurine you can paint complete with large pee pee.

Snake wine anyone?

 

Everywhere u turn people are eating. Day & night. How are they skinny?

V are very like nyers. Pushing shoving yelling are no big deal. Almost affection.

And still I am 1 ft taller than 90%.

Had lunch with James & Sarah. Beautiful couple. Of course 19yo! Feeling old.

This city is so confusing. I have no idea how you can tell your way around. We drive for 20 min and end up where we start.

Asian cities are bigger than they appear on maps.  When I attempt to walk anywhere it’s twice as long as expected.

S Vietnam prez palace in exact state as when they departed

Did the us or s vn ever invade the north? No according to guide.

Pres palace interesting but literally frozen in the 60s

Impressive that they kept it as a muse but wish they had more exhibits

I guess the vn are democrats. When I tried to correct the guide about who ordered the coup against pres Diem in 1963 he insisted the republicans did it. Lol

Night. Gay bar a bust. Grim karaoke night. Cute DJ but rest were dull.

 

Sat jul 13

Serious damage shopping today. I think I need to save some of the gifts for Xmas.

Govt shops didn’t bargain but got some good deals on other things. When I need something I don’t even bargain bc it’s so cheap.

There are literally hundreds of travel agencies here I don’t understand how they survive.

Corn milk is yummy

They have their own version of the So Afr parking gods here. You can valet park your scooter on the sidewalk. When u get back the valet pulls it from the stacks.

Everyone covers their mouths here with masks but I find the air better than Phoenix.

Cabs here only $2.50! But cab drivers really don’t know how to shift. I feel for these stick shift cars.

Everyone wears flip flops here. Maybe in honor of John Kerry?

So the VN use roman characters with lots of French accents. Weird when u think about it

When the light turns green there are cars all over the intersection that magically disappear as your car accelerates.

When cab is turning rt he still stays in the middle lane to avoid cutting off mopeds.

When getting a massage

 

Sun jul 14

Saigon wharf Ho Chi Minh museum.  The treat HCM items like relicts they save his shirt helmet cooking bowl rice bag. He is a secular saint.

The museum is a bit scarce. They reuse photos & descriptions from 1 floor to the next.

Gayest picture of HCM working at hotel Carlton in NYC

Downright cool here today. No sun & a breeze

Sunday is quiet & seems everyone  is home

Haircut for only $3

Scary Aussie is not at his usual cafe this am. He spends all day there watching people go by

I definitely recommend the backpacking district for hotel. There are no pools or big restaurants but there are plenty of backpackers to oogle. Good nightlife cheap services and more of a Vietnamese feel than the big western hotel. Beautiful Saigon 3 is very nice for $40 night.

It’s amazing the VN talk the phone smoke hold small children all on their scooters.

Ok I’ve added 13 kilos of purchases just in Saigon. Thankfully Singapore will be to expensive to buy anything.

Very excited to get back to my 1st class travel tomorrow.

VN air with as Yankee a pilot as you can get!_

Bonus. For $35 upgraded to biz class on VN airlines. Nice bonus to go with my trip. Free drinks!

Mon jul 15

Cab driver offering me Thai girlfriend then Thai boyfriend. It’s too early. 530 am. Then trying to charge 400 baht. (Us$12)

It only cost 120 yesterday.

There is a lot of bad musac over here.

Back to biz class travel. Nice!

Noise canceling earphones kind of worth it

SINGAPORE! Just arrived and hotel is great tho seems on the edge of town. 6th flr seems to be my lucky floor as I’m in 620. Now to explore city

VN favorite country city so far

Metro escalators here are stand left walk right. Unlike DC

They give plastic bags for any reason here. Really no reason. Wasteful.

SGP SO much cooler! Plus Ac everywhere.

Tues jul 16

Calculated 55 hr trip home with 23 in Amsterdam but not including 90 min from airport to DC

SGP is delightfully cooler. Still humid but only high 70s

Quail eggs for bkfst. Yummy. Going to try turtle soup & frog legs this pm

Hooters. Exporting the best of us culture.

SPs seem angrier than most places and not afraid to be rude. 😦

Sp birthday is not until Aug 8 but there are banners

Sands hotel has cool roof but check out lines are horrible just like Vegas

SP have perfected ticket prices. Charge for skywalk conservatories and audio car tour each separate. Ugh!

Conservatory / sands hotel super futuristic!

It’s like disneys future world

We’d jul 17

Last day in Asia 😦

Sands hotel has 2000 rooms as I suspected. Huge.

Taking double decker bus tour of SGP

Old harbor is now a reservoir. I wondered how they kept water. Dam at entrance keeps out sea

Idea of gardens & bridges in the sky are big here. Many tall buildings have gardens halfway up.

Not sure how SGP with such a high GDP has so many servants & cleaners.

Seems I could never find big water bottle & when I did they are filled to the cap which keep spilling over.

Apts 85% SGPians live in state apts. state apt go us$300-800 private apt us$1 mil plus

Malls malls everywhere. Q

Bus tour is good call for SGP since its pretty small.

None of the sidewalks bus pathways or hallways are level here. I am constantly tripping.

Biz class problems:   having no one to talk to bc your seat & the one next to you are empty. Bulkhead so far away you can’t put your feet up.

SGP has a red swastika school!

 

Thurs jul 18

A380 is amazing. Bathroom is bigger than my home one

Bed is huge up here in first & whole section is men but not the young goodlooking kind. Surprised I have not had a celebrity sighting yet but then I may not recognize them.

My chair was huge and so comfortable. I need to do this everywhere.

Freaked me out in the Thai lounge when the waitresses get all the way on their knees to serve u food & drink.

I will miss the cold towels everywhere I go!

Prob at gate. There are 2 flts to Frankfurt within 10 minutes of each other Thai a380 at 1145 & Lufthansa 747 at 1155 one at d4 the other at e4. Spent 40 min running btw the gates.

Slept 6 hrs on flt which was wonderful bed was more comfortable than some hotels!

Europe is too egalitarian. No 1st or biz class in Frankfurt to Amsterdam.  Rude awakening.

Bad line karma too

Amsterdam city of. Bikes but no helmets

Touring new Rijksmuseum in Am. Dutch are very into group pix.

 

Fri jul 19

Trip home 😦

Amsterdam sunny & dry.

Forgot how late it stays sunny here. Still light at 10pm. Churches definitely not a priority here.

Weather has been great here for 24 hrs.

Dutch very multicultural. Lots of African heritage locals. Seen a lot of Black Americans which is nice that they feel comfortable traveling here. Asia not so much.

Check in line for United goes for 200 yds. Glad I’m 1st class. They only have 2 flights how big are the planes? Mine is 767

Weird being in Europa. There are people my size & bigger here.

Head of check in line for 5 min. How do they get all passengers processed in 2 hrs? This was much better on other airlines.

Eu passport wins again. Express lane thru customs.

Ok United rents a lounge from a local service company. But the lounge does not even have enough seats for those here. Singapore rents 1/2 just for its clients

Despite the lounge. (And I think I was sent to the biz class lounge not 1st class. ) the seats on United are very comfortable.  Lots of seat storage which is nice. Only 3 seats across.

United flt attendance have short waiter Ike jackets

 

 

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