Saturday, 28 February 2009

Paddy in Vietnam

Two weeks of networking events and meeting headhunters in Hong Kong has been interesting but the outlook is still pretty bleak. I think the tone of the last post ended up being more morbid than I intended so rest assured I am anything but depressed. I may have to reinvent myself in order to succeed in re-entry into the employment rat race and so I'm looking on that as a bit of an adventure in itself. Fellow Irish blogger Thriftcriminal has the right attitude. People should try and be a bit more constructive in the midst of this economic crisis.

It's very easy and very Irish to bitch and moan and complain but in the end do nothing about it. We're a pretty resilient bunch if history is anything to go by but how the frik we just shrug off decades of political and corporate corruption is beyond me. The politicians and big businessmen made out like bandits in the bad times. They made out like super frikkin' bandits during the good times and they ran the country with one of the strongest economies in Europe into the ground as they flew around on their private jets and lined their pockets with taxpayers money with scam after scam. Somebody should be held to account but more chance of me going to Lourdes on a pilgrimage than that happening. End of rant - I promised you positivity after all.

Since I'm out this direction and the job market is what it is, I figured I'd take a little diversionary side trip. A friend is visiting from New York so we've got a few weekend trips planned starting with Ho Chi Min City (formerly Saigon) Vietnam.
The visa process was somewhat chaotic on arrival and the taxi ride from the airport was the stuff made of legend. I think the driver had rally car aspirations or wanted to get back to the airport rank as quickly as possible so he was honking the horn and flashing the high beams and veering into on coming traffic while weaving and dodging between the hundreds of scooters and motorbike drivers that swarm around the streets here. Crossing the road as a pedestrian is not for the faint hearted.

One of the big attractions is the Mekong Delta boat trips and the floating markets shown below.
Another attraction is visiting the old Viet Cong tunnels and shooting an AK47 for a few dollars

It's not recommended to brush your teeth with regular tap water out here but out of habit and sleepiness we both did it so let the good times roll ...... outta the bottom of our world - or not ....time will tell!!!

Tags: ..Irish Vietnam..

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Baino February 28, 2009 5:56 pm  

Man you're getting around. I like your attitude too. I have a friend in Ireland who says everyone's bitching about the situation but not doing anything even when only 1% of the population are in favour of the current regime. Those tunnels are amazing aren't they?

Quickroute March 01, 2009 6:47 am  

@ Baino: yeah way too much negativity and nothing being done about it - yes the elaborate network of tunnels is quite something.

nick March 01, 2009 8:36 am  

Ooh, I wouldn't want to go down those tunnels, I would feel very claustrophobic. Particularly if they go that far down. It's still amazing that hundreds of determined guerilla fighters managed to fight off the entire US military might.

Yes, many down south are just quietly despairing but that was an impressive rally last weekend, many more people than expected. I think governments generally are totally perplexed about what to do next, it's such an unprecedented mess.

K8 the Gr8 March 01, 2009 8:42 am  

The size of that tunnel entrance!!!! Dude I'd be scoffing the Jaffa Cakes like there was no tomorrow if it meant getting out of squeezing through that. Creepy.

I'm with you on the Irish attitude. This revolution idea recently started on Facebook has plenty of followers so far, but everyone's being so damn quiet. It's frustrating. We need ideas for an agenda or proposal of some sort, but nobody's biting. Too lazy or suckers for punishment? I've no idea.

NicoleB March 01, 2009 11:42 am  

Amazing. I sure do envy you for that trip a tiny bit :)

Xbox4NappyRash March 01, 2009 3:53 pm  

Been look at Vietnam a lot myself lately after seeing an episode of Top gear would you believe.

Looks stunning.

Quickroute March 01, 2009 11:14 pm  

@ Nick: Anarchy may be just round the corner. Better build a bunker out the back garden and stock it up

@ K8: a Facebook revolution - sounds like a secret society like Fight club. the first rule of fight club is ......

@ NicoleB: it's nice down here alright

@ Xbox: it barely changed since the war - it's chaotic on the roads here - I wouldn't fancy driving one bit

wandermom March 01, 2009 11:36 pm  

Hey, if you're going to go traipsing around in SE Asia, you might want to pick up a Steripen. Cheap, light, simple way to de-bug-ify your water. Just a thought.
Stopping this comment now so I don't start adding to your rant above...

Grow Up March 02, 2009 4:49 am  

Ahhhh, my cover is blown!

Shit, that hole is waaaaaaay too small, I reckon even in my skinny 20s I would have had trouble with that, my shoulders are ........ thick, that's the word, thick.

Quickroute March 02, 2009 7:49 am  

@ Wandermom: Thanks for the tip - I just googled it and it looks cool!

@ Grow up: Didn't mean to blow your cover :-(
bit of a tight squeeze alright - no beer bellies on those folks!

conortje March 03, 2009 3:31 am  

another place to add to my list :-)

iWalk March 03, 2009 8:47 am  

Paddy, the situation is bad, But you always give me something positive! You are traveling, You are seeing more and more!

Saigon is the best city of Vietnam, enjoy it!

Take care and good luck!

Broke But Still Drinking March 03, 2009 1:09 pm  

Is Guinness cheaper in Vietnam?

Megan March 04, 2009 4:39 am  

I have to catch up. I don't even know what time zone you are in right now!

Susan March 05, 2009 7:07 pm  

Good luck with the tap water and everything else! It sounds like a marvellous trip anyhow--your photos are amazing. But, I can't help but wonder what veterans of that conflict think of the tourist 'attractions' you've found... Hmm!

ahhjaysis March 06, 2009 12:14 pm  

Jaysis fair play to ye. I'd be bricking it going down those tunnels!

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