Michelle Thu Trang Doan Nguyen’s VN Voyage!

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Can you believe it was only a few months before that Cathy and I came up with a title for our vacation and that it would be called Vietnam Voyage? (That’s right everyone, she did not come up with that one herself, it took a team effort!) We joked that it could be a mini book series for kids and it would be about three sisters, two crazy ones who get into trouble and one sensible sister who manages to save her sisters from peril. From our experience, it’s safe to say that we all needed saving from:
1. food poisoning
2. fatigue, over exertion, fainting
3. tempers! (Ok, I did have an internal hissy fit when I went to the tailors and received a blazer that DID not fit well at all. I tried to hide it but it bothered me, oh yes it did.)
4. and of course, AUSSIES! KIDDING!–for the most part anyways.

There are always the stock answer stories that I tell everyone about what I did during this trip but then past them, I found that there were even more interesting tales to tell. We sang Christmas carols at the orphanage and received little ornaments from the kids as gifts on X-mas eve, spoke to a veteran at the East Meets West office on Christmas, explaining my connection and deeper understanding of Vietnam and my parents which is something I did not expect to develop during my vacation and we rode elephants y’all!—lucky you whoever gets to read this b/c these are usually the untold stories. And yes, we HAD to wear the costumes.



Big thanks to Mimi otherwise the orphanage and x-mas dinner at East Meets West would have never happened!

By the way, Eric, Cathy’s Vietnamese French friend, is SUPER FABULEUX even if he does look very much like our brother Nam.

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I’ll take off where Anh left off on her blog entry which is Nha Trang and Cam Ranh. So Anh and I met our grandma for the first time ever!—Strange at first b/c I don’t speak very much Vietnamese but she welcomed us into her home.

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So we crashed . . . hard b/c flying around really does wear one down. We slept during the afternoon the first day in Cam Ranh and the next day we headed off the Nha Trang which is probably my favourite place so far in Vietnam. The food is great!—we had raw oysters and no food poisoning, so high ratings from my behalf. We watched some music television and Cathy and I have made a new enemy and his name is Alvey. I’m sorry, but we don’t want to watch a show about arcade games, you idiot Alvey!—GET OFF THE SCREEN OR HOST A MUSIC SHOW! SHEESH!!!–and I’ll leave it at that b/c I’m usually not one to yell at the tv but I thought it couldn’t get worse than MTV (Laguna Beach is that channel’s only saving grace).
To top things off, Cathy did get sick (food poisoning, a plague onto your home! That’s Shakespeare, R+J which we did see in VN) and she tried to rest but it’s hard to do that with a bunch of LOUD Asian voices, construction and the sounds of a chicken being butchered in combo coming from the backyard. Gotta love our humble beginnings! I had to give her some earplugs poor girl. We went to the mudbaths . . . well, everyone else did sauf moi. I decided that it wasn’t my thing so I spent time alone in the heated swimming pool instead and I got a new bathing suit from the whole deal so I rather pleased. We did spend a crazy New Years in Nha Trang at the Sailing Club and then it was two consecutive early flights (torture!) on the way home to Canada. What did I learn from flying early? There is actually NO traffic in Saigon at 4am. Didn’t think I would ever see empty streets in that city but that would be the time. All in all, great vacation. Now I’m home, missing the super strong coffee that tastes like chocolate and picking up glass by the beaches.