February 24th, 2010

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Wednesday Feb 24. Le Petit Monde at Le Petit Bistro

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

There are so many distractions here that keep me from digging my head into the material that I brought to work on, to write into an article and stories. I prefer to just ride around on the bicycle and take in the life that is played out on the water, streets and in the back alleys. I had such a great salade Nicoise, for lunch, at “Le Petit Bistro” yesterday that I had to get another one today. The anchovies reminds me of the best meal I have ever eaten aboard “Fleetwood”, when Lynne cooked clam linguine with anchovies on the Intra Coastal Waterway. I met a young couple, Bryan and Kara Ruhl who teach/council at the American International School of Guangzhou, at the “Petit Bistro”. Kara grew up in Skagit County, near where “Fleetwood” was built. Mattie, my last wife, was once considering teaching at this school, she was born in Guangzhou.

Back in 2006 I used an agency in Nhatrang to do all the customs and emigration formalities.  But the address and phone number are no longer to be found. I went to the immigration office in the old port and they were able to put me on track. I also visited another agency that can perform the same services. This way I can give a few options to any interested cruisers planning a visit to Vietnam. I was told by the Vina Line agency that the astronomical fees that I had to pay are mainly due to the “tips” they have to give to the government agents who process the clearances. This is an incredible system. The Vina Line agency and apparently the Falcon agency I used are all government owned companies. So one pocket fattens the other.

I still have to take at least three pain killers a day for the toothache. It’s a real pain in the mouth. Just managed to solve this weeks Cryptogram on the Dutch shortwave radio service, within 5 minutes.“Aan die scheuren kun je je zaak ophangen”

No photos to day so here are a couple I skipped in the last days: