(Suomalaisille, pahoittelut englannin kielesta mutta nain saan laajemman kansan kartoitettua. Kopioikaa teksti ja liittakaa se kenttaan osoitteessa translate.google.com ja valitkaa kielet englanti ja suomi. Nailla selvianette!)
Here it begins, my first posting although I promised I never would keep an other blog again. In my defence I can say that this time I'm blogging against my own will. Because the Vietnamese government wants to keep the peoples cricism and opinion-changing to a minumun, it blocked facebook (good job with the blogs, guys!). So this is - for now - my only option.
I'm now in Hoi An in central Vietnam, sitting in the hotel lobby (I travel on a budget so don't have too high thoughts about the place). I arrived to Vietnam on Wednesday after 25h of travelling. That same day I bought a plane ticket to Da Nang (40USD, the alternative was 20USD and 13h on the train). Small thigs to commet so far:
The traffic is chaotic indeed but even I've ridden a bicycle here. It's actually a good thing that I don't have eyes on my back because I would just panic. The technique for driving in traffic is easy. Make no sudden moves. All traffic signs are recommendations only. Try not to hit anybody in front of you. Pray to God or Shiva or whoever that nobody hits you from behind. That is how you survive.
Everybody, I mean EVERYBODY, has the Nokia tune as their mobile tune. I'm among them and I'm so going to change the tune right after I finish this.
The level of English is very poor. It is somehow weird being here after travelling in Central America, where I could talk to everybody and make friends with locals easily. Here anything beyond counting numbers and saying hello is advanced English. Combined with the fact that the Vietnamese are famous for trying to cheat a tourist at any given moment, this isn't good for a little tourist like me. That's why the foreigners help eachothers here more than in other places, I believe. Apparently for that reason the expat (the foreigners working in a country) scene is very active in Hanoi. I look forward to getting to know that part.
I'm happy you stopped by! Take care - and so will I.