Floating Market Madness
Trip Start Jul 25, 2006
165Trip End Ongoing
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After being dumped onto our older lady driver, we headed out in the morning dawn and into the middle of the swift, wide Mekong. Our skipper spoke little English, but communicated through smiles and the repeated use of the world "ok". We got along just fine. Our little boat headed down the river, being chased by the rays of the sunrise, until we reached the Cai Rang Floating Market
After poking around the marker for a while, our driver took us into the back waters of the Delta. We stopped along the way at a small business that made rice paper wrappers used in Vietnam's famous spring rolls. After this, we made our way slowly back to Can Tho through the back ways where small houses perched over the river, and in places the surrounding palm leaves leaned over the river creating a tunnel of green light to cruise through. The peaceful setting, the lull of the boat engine, and the heat of the day soon drew Danayi into sleep. Thinking one of us should stay awake in case the other fell in, or our captain decided to sell us to river pirates, I strived to stay awake but soon fell into a series of vicious head nods as my body fought off sleep.
It was a peaceful day.
The next day, Danayi and I saw our first drive by mugging. Movies such as Full Metal Jacket (remember Joker's camera?) had left the image of the snatch and grab in my mind, but I had never witnessed it. I only saw the tail end, while Danayi saw the entire thing. A moped cruised slowly along with two young men on it. It approached a young woman standing on the side of the road with her purse. Suddenly the passenger grabbed the purse and the moped engine screamed as the driver gunned it and they fled. Her yell and the obvious noise of the moped's engine quickly drew a crowd of onlookers who clucked sympathetically and then moved on.
This was about the extent of the excitement the town had to offer, and after a few days we moved onto HCMC (Saigon).