On the road again !
Trip Start Sep 27, 2009
31Trip End Nov 18, 2009
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Where I stayed
In 1954, when the VC kicked the French out, they took over the prison. In the museum, we can see multiple displays of how the French treated the VNese prisoners poorly (including a guillotine for execution) and how the VC treated the American prisoners really really well (including officers playing volleyball and basketball and having Xmas dinner). When we looked at the web, we found quotes from John McCain, who visited the prison a few years ago, that indicated that the displays "were entertainment". He lost many friends in that prison..
Why is there a picture of the doggie in this blog entry? Because we miss her an awful lot and she just got groomed, isn't she simply adorable? Knowing my ungrateful babygirl, she is in full cahoots with Grandma and Ong Piu and has completely forgotten who Mom and Dad are.
We said goodbye to our gracious hosts at the Hanoi Phoenix Hotel and leave behind fond memories of kind people with the continual desire to help and assist all their guests. They truly made the start of our long journey very pleasant and we will forever be grateful.
We then hopped on a night train to go to Hue, where we shared a cabin with a middle-aged British lady and her daughter. She must have thought that I was Pierre's prostitute or something because she really had a stick up her posterior. Wouldn't look at me or talk to me, that snooty twit. I mean do I look anything like a pro, for the love of Buddha? I'm 42 years old, devoid of all makeup, decked out in wrinkled travel clothes and flip-flops and the only debaucherie I'm involved with is in my head! Geez...
For some reason, they really crank up the airco on these trains, we were freezing half the night so had to catch a nap upon arriving at a great minihotel in Hue
Today is hotter than the pit of a BBQ roasting a pig and poor Pierre is sweating like one. Hue is much quieter than Hanoi, there are much fewer people and motorbikes and we actually have sidewalks on which we can walk. The Imperial City (what the Frenchies and the Yanks didn't destroy) was built in 1804 by Emperor Gia Long and is well kept and quite nice, larger than we thought. The emperors must've had loads of fun, the quarters for the concubines were as big as the Old Montreal! Only eunuchs and female servants were allowed in the Purple Forbidden City (where the Emperor, the Empress and the concubines lived). This is where the Nguyen dynasty held court so my guess is that my maternal ancestors were part of this gang. Pierre is regretful that he was born in the wrong country at the wrong time as he wouldn't have minded multiple wives. I told him to become a Mormon instead but he declined. Can't even handle one wife, pfffft! *rolling eyes*
Hue people have an accent as thick as pea soup and they can understand me but I can not understand a word they say! I don't know how other VNese can understand them, it's quite an unbelievable accent, not like the pure Northern VNese accent like I have :o). I've had to resort to speaking English to them just so I don't order broiled bat for lunch by mistake.
Pierre is enjoying the architecture in VN so far. Because of the lack of space and a large population, most houses are built on the vertical: long, tall and narrow. The only drawback is that they don't have elevators so carrying the groceries to the top floor is a feat. That is why my people are teeny tiny skinny. Photos will be included later on.
Tomorrow, we have a day tour to go to the DMZ (demilitarized zone in case you're wondering). Why, you say? It's a male thing, I say. There are still unexploded ordinance in the area so a tour must be taken with a guide, otherwise we may come home with a few less limbs (stop worrying, Mom! We take no chance, Pierre is very very careful). More to come on the DMZ in tomorrow's entry. Have a wonderful Friday!