2 May 2003 - Montana Cafe, Ho Chi Minh City
Eight hours to kill in Saigon

Why, you may ask, am I sitting in a cafe, eating a 10,000VND ice cream as slowly as possible, while writing this? Simply because I have absolutely nothing to do for the next six hours or so. I've already spent the last two hours fruitlessly looking for a cinema, and I'm sweating like the proverbial pig now, hence my rest stop here.

I blame all of this on Korean Air, of course. Their choice of flight times could not really be any much worse than it is. Whoever heard of a 1am flight? Why not 8PM? Why not 6am? 1am is that time that is squarely unfortunate for the stingy traveller who doesn't want to pay half-day costs for a room.

I suppose I could have gone for a city tour or something, but I had things to do this morning but couldn't do yesterday because it was a public holiday (re: check out of the hotel, change money, collect ao dai). If they offered an interesting tour that left at two o'clock and came back at eight, that would be ideal, but it doesn't exist.

I've already resigned myself to sitting in front of an internet connection from 5 to 7PM, and having a sumptuous dinner after that, so I'm basically just stuck for the next two hours.

I was hoping to catch a film, but finding a cinema in Saigon is elusive. I thought I found one, but there didn't seem to be a cinema in the building, despite adverts for it outside. I should have asked.

I could have gone for a massage, I suppose, since plenty of people offered them to me, but I know precisely what sort of massage they have in mind, and I don't have the inclination, energy or funds to do that.

I could sit in a park somewhere and just bang this out on my knee, and I will do that when the weather improves from being 'quite hot' to 'slightly hot'. Even my famed internal temperature regulator finds this heat uncomfortable.

(I notice as I type this that I am unbearably bad at nursing an ice cream. Ice creams melt, that is why most people choose beers to nurse, I suppose.)

I did go to the Clinic just now to be declared SARS-free. It cost me USD55, and the darned credit card doesn't work. I am quite annoyed about that.

Oh well. Only five hours 45 minutes to go.


posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - permalink
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