Vietnam – Misc. Notes Part 3

Wasn’t listing to the 3 backpackers until I heard one of them say it was the 19th. Her two companions didn’t correct her so I turned, excused myself, said it wasn’t any of by business but I’d bet just about anything it was the 20th. Consultations and confirmations ensued, followed by ‘Are we going to make our flight to Bangkok?’. After they settled down one of them thanked me.

I was a 4 or 5 feet from the ladder of the puddle jumper for the flight from Da Nang to Dalat. She came around the outside, moving faster than the line until I stuck my backpack in front of her. I’d expected someone to do that, so had my backpack by the side handle, the one that presented the bag’s widest profile. She pushed, I rotated and pushed harder. Outweighed her by 20 kilos so it was no contest. Had she gone around the backpack she’d then be approaching the stairs at a right angle, making it hard to merge.

I’m hoping to avoid some big Russian that I photobombed. He and his two companions were in such high spirits that I guessed they were stoned. The woman was taking a picture so I tossed a mild photobomb. She laughed and sparkled so I paused. She told her bald brute she wanted another photo. My second photobomb, if I aligned it correctly, looked like I was planting a kiss on his chrome dome. She burst out laughing, I exited quickly in case she showed him the picture and he wasn’t amused.

Day tour marketing is a joke, in that the joke’s on the customer. One of the reputable bike trip firm’s catalog includes difficulty ratings, distance, terrain type, bike type and printed prices. The others have vague descriptions and not a single printed price or labeled photo in the shop.

Technique for walking across a street is just as the travel trips advise. Hold your course and speed and the traffic will flow around you. Unless it’s a truck or bus, they’ll lay on the horn. A few bikers didn’t back off, preferring instead to playing ‘make the tourist jump’. In a perfect world the pedestrian could step out of the way then nail the passing rider with pepper spray.

The touts are considerably less bothersome than travel writers say. So far it’s been a walk in the park compared to Manilla.


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