Monday, July 11, 2011

Asia Trip - Part 1

Hey Chia!

I've returned, and have just watched Masterchef. Wow, I am really back at home.

This trip has been the longest holiday that I've had in a long time, and it really felt like so when I was away. But now, I can't believe that 2 weeks have zoomed by.

Vietnam was such a wonderful surprise for me. I had no idea what to expect, and not only that, the only thing I knew or heard about Vietnam was that there was a war, it was colonised by the French, it is a communist country, and the Vietnamese here are psycho who chop people up. LOL. Shows how much I knew!

When we boarded the flight to Ho Chi Minh from Kuala Lumpur, Thien asked me 'So how do you feel Anna? First time to Vietnam!' I felt, well excited. Actually I was more like curious. Vietnam seemed so foreign to me culturally, and I wanted to know more about the other half of my heritage. When I asked Thien what he felt about coming back to Vietnam, he simply sang:
I'm coming home, coming home, tell the world that I'm coming home.

As the plane took off, those lines just played over in my head:
I'm coming home, coming home, tell the world that I'm coming home.
Let the rain, wash away, all the pain of yesterday.
I know my kingdom awaits, and they've forgiven my mistakes.
I'm coming home, I'm coming home, tell the world that I'm coming...

It was perfect really. Except I have never been there, and all the mistakes made were not made by me, but by people whose lives were changed by difficult circumstances, people and circumstances that no longer exist today. It's in the past.

I was also feeling...wonder. The fact that only in 2008, I did not know anything about my past, where I came from, and that the idea of me going to Vietnam was not even an option for me. I was not interested. It was impossible. I'll admit, I was scared.

But when we all arrived in Vietnam, Thien revealed the smells, tastes and beauty of this place.

A tired Thien, our awesome tour guide

I love it! The food is so delicious! Here I thought Pho was the bomb, but no, there are other dishes. Fresh salads, dishes with flowers and the fresh leaves of mint, coriander and other stuff that I don't know the names for, expect that it was yum. For me, I loved the Bun bo Hue, and I really would love to eat it more, or learn to make it.

Bun bo hue!

I don't know the name of this, but it was such a delicious entree!

I forgot the name of this dish, but the green stuff is a flower!

OH! One of the coolest dishes was at this ice-cream chain called "Fanny". So many innuendos were made. Especially after me, Doris, Joyce and Amy had gone to a random hotel for buy 1, get 1 free drinks. We chose a shot called "Blow Job" and after that we were craving cheap blow jobs and creamy deserts from fanny. The ice-cream dish that blew us away was this:

Ice-cream sushi!

This was amazing! The sushi was ice-cream and was coated in black sesame which was the 'seaweed wrap'. The sauce was chocolate 'soy sauce' and strawberry jam 'chilli sauce'.

The other desert that was awesome was this:

Spring rolls!

The Vietnamese people are also so very lovely! Very different to the image of a hardcore race of people which had been etched into my imagination from our uni days. I thought that the Vietnamese would be angry people with knives to chop anyone who displeased them. But instead, the people were all so very kind and sweet. There was one girl who worked at the check in desk at the Light Hotel in Nha-Trang who had a sweet temperament. She was kind, and well... overall very gentle. I kept sneaking looks at her. Her mannerisms, her hand gestures, her smile and her soft voice. I hoped that my birth mom was like her. My imagination and my gut feeling tells me that she was like that.

I really want to go back to Vietnam and eat more food, explore more of the country side, and visit my birth parents' villages.

Kev and I in Nha-Trang at the Micro Brewery called Louisiane
Other highlights of the trip include:

  1. Chinny Surprise. I had been pestering him about this trip. Then, on the night before we left, I pestered him once more. He simply said for the final time that he wasn't coming. In my head I just thought 'oh god, he never comes!' When we finally arrived at the Hotel in Ho Chi Minh, there was Chinny, strutting his stuff to us. I lost it. I screamed/shrieked like I've never shrieked before and jumped him in happy surprise. Everyone was stunned by Chinny's appearance. The only person who knew was Thien.
  2. 12 people bumper cars! We hogged up a round and just went crazy! It was super awesome fun not having to worry about other random people, and just focusing on crashing into your friends. It was huge! We so should have played it more instead of doing just one round. It was super cheap!
  3. Kung Fu Panda. I was a bit 'meh' about watching it while overseas, but it ended up being the perfect movie for me to see in Vietnam. It was all about Po and him finding himself and learning about his past and birth family. It also dealt with his relationship with his adoptive father. So cute!
  4. Fresh Seafood at the markets in Nha-Trang. This was an awesome meal.
  5. Everyone getting sick. I don't know why, but everyone got sick during Vietnam and the beginning of Hong Kong. Perhaps we were overdoing it? The fruit smoothies- I loveeeeed the fruit smoothies, especially the ones with yogurt!
  6. Thien always having to usher 2 taxis and then explain directions to one driver, then run down to explain the same directions to the other driver.
  7. Speaking about taxis - one of the taxis getting into a car accident on the way to the Bun bo hue restaurant. Driver kicking that group out, and then that group hailing another taxi to drive them to the restaurant. Little did they know, that the drive was less than a 30 second drive down the road.
  8. Thien initally always ordering awesome food for everyone... same drinks and dishes for everyone! Until people started figuring out things they liked, and then it got all complicated. Sorry dude.
  9. Massages! How can I forget about the massages. They were hillarious at times, when these tiny women wrap their arms around you and fling you in the air. Doris and I had an experience when our towels didn't quite stay on and our ladies when flying everywhere! Thank goodness for those modesty curtains.
  10. Manicures and Pedicures. Amy and Doris had issues with their nail polish not drying quick enough. Amy's nails were spoiled and retouched twice and was even given special slippers so that her toe nails wouldn't touch anything!
  11. 'I'd like to have 1 blow job.' *looks around* 'Make that 2 blow jobs... wait, We'll have 4 blow jobs.'
  12. The steam rooms. The guys loved them at the massages, then the girls rocked them at the New World Hotel in Ho Chi Minh. Awwww soo good.
  13. Kev eating all the food regardless of the sourness and spice; and sweating it out! *HugZz* Loves you for getting in on it! ^______^
Stay tuned for Part 2 - Hong Kong!

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