Tuesday 12 Jan

Written by Jack van Ommen on January 12th, 2010

Yesterday, around 5 p.m. I walked into a dental clinic. I was back at 6.30 p.m. for a much overdue cleaning and x-rays, $ 70. To-day I had the front tooth made look as it was before the hatch fell shut on my head on the way out of Beaufort, N.C., the day before Thanksgiving 2008. On that same trip to the Virgin Islands I lost part of a crown. What was left of it was removed today and a temporary put in. Tomorrow I get the new crown. Another $ 500 for the entire operation. This lab has the fanciest equipment I have ever seen, including the USA.  This is probably only reserved to a few of the wealthy locals and ex-pats, but it is a whole lot less than I would have paid at home and the female dentist did a fabulous job. No anesthesia and no pain. More than I can say for my teeth cleaning experiences in the US. This is a working vacation. This evening I had an excellent haircut and shampoo $5.50. Pampered by  a horde of gorgeous young ladies. Tomorrow I must find someone better skilled and equipped than my attempts to pull the stitches from my healing foot operation. Walking has become a lot less painful.

I worked some more on the travel plans for the month here with Iris. Here is what I have come up with so far: Bus south to Can Tho in the Mekong delta. Bus or boat to the Camodian border town of Chau Doc, boat ride to Pnomh Penh, bus to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Bus to Vientiane and Luang Prabang back to Vientiane. Bus to Vinh (North Central Vietnam Coast) train south to Hue, if time permits to Danang and Hoi An, fly to Hanoi make trips from Hanoi to Halong Bay, Sapa etc. Return to Saigon from Hanoi on Feb 11. The schedule will be loose and if we hear of a particular sidetrip/diversion we’ll be able to fit it in. I’m excited. Many of these places have been on my wish list for the last 50 years.

My Quebecois friends recommended seeing a store, very appropriately, called “Dogma”. They have a great assortment of the 1960/1975 communist war propaganda posters and sell T-Shirts, shoulder bags , etc. with the same prints and slogans. They would not allow me to photograph, so, I had to buy at least one poster. Makes great gifts for my veteran friends.  

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