Getting to Saigon wasn’t difficult, the arrival was a bit of a culture shock. It was very warm, nice according to the locals. The heat reminded me of when I was little and we’d catch those propeller planes to the outer islands. Landing in Kona when the tradwinds weren’t blowing and the heat sat on your shoulders.
The visa process was a bit longer than I expected. I didn’t give the guy anything except my passport and letter. He didn’t ask for any pictures, any money and I’m not sure how much he helped. Passengers who came after me, left before me. Granted, most of them were at the counter barking orders at the staff for their stuff.
He WAS helpful in finding my HR Exec – Vi. Upon exiting the terminal there were tons of people, sitting, waiting for their loved ones. The sun was so bright that I could barely make out their faces. It all became one big blur with different sounds coming at every direction. He knew her cell phone number and gave her a call. Vi was a lifesaver. Having to do this on my own after such a long flight would have been exhausting.
She got me to my apartment, helped me figure out basic things like opening doors, getting groceries, calling a taxi. If anyone was thinking of targeting me, it didn’t happen as Vi was extra vigilant. Making sure I didn’t get hit when crossing the street and taking me to reputable dealers to exchange money. Even when I inquired about Ben Thanh Market, she wrinkled her nose and suggested I figure out what I wanted to buy and she would take me someplace cheaper. You really cannot beat having a local to help guide you.
We went someplace to eat and it would never have been a place I would’ve picked. It was almost in an alley and no one else was there inside. The service was prompt and the food was good. There were flies around us and little gnats. We sat at a table, but we could have been sitting outside. I had a coke and Vi had some Thai iced tea. We swished away whatever bugs we found and dug in. The food was piping hot, both heat and spice-wise and very filling. It was very good, very tasty and made me excited to try more dishes here. It gave me a second wind (a tiny one) and Vi showed me the offices and a few misc landmarks. By the time I got back, brought some cereal and milk (and bottled water), I was sufficiently tired. I tried to stay up as long as I could, but it was such a difficult battle. The nice thing is that on the bottom floor of this apartment building we have restaurants and a grocery store. The bad thing is that I still can’t figure out how to get into the place. Oh well.
It was suggested that I could do a tour today (it’s Sunday by me), but I think I might stay in and play some minecraft. I’m not 100% (omg, allergies are kicking off like nobody’s business) and I want to be focused at work on Monday.