Sunday 30 December 2007

Day 1: 17 Hours Later....Arrival into Saigon, Vietnam

The flight from LAX to Taipei took about 14 hours; unfortunately I was stuck in the middle seat, but somehow managed only to get up once. The individual sitting next to me turned out to be a new graduate from UCLA--small world. We exchanged information and will hope to see each other again on this trip.

Taipei Airport has free internet! This was how my e-mail looked.

Tip: The greatest conversation piece is a USC sweatshirt. You'll always meet someone, so think about what you wear!

After arriving in Saigon Airport, customs questioned me on why I had an American passport. "Because my parents immigrated to the States. " "Why don't you speak Vietnamese?" "I grew up in the States." Great, I'm getting attitude and causing confusion already.

Met the host family in their house with no toilet paper or hot water. Thankfully there was internet and a TV. My room was simple with a fan, desk, and bed. I took a little nap and found 6-year-old Neh watching me as I woke up. We played some Dominoes I brought and I took a short walk outside.

Tip: In Vietnam, you can get a good SIM card for about $10 and slip it into any phone and voila! Use your phone as you wish. HOWEVER, before you leave, check with your phone company to make sure your phone isn't locked. Damn AT&T!

My room for the stay

Saigon is famous for having motorbikes EVERYWHERE that really won't stop for you. Imagine New York City and instead of taxis, you have motorbikes. Should I take the risk and try to cross to the other side?

Motorbikes of Saigon in District 8

I've come to learn that I'm a product of my environment. Usually my adventurous spirit comes out, but for the moment I know better. I'll wait until tomorrow! And hopefully someone around me will understand English!

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