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First day!
I woke up at 6:30 am with a what the heck??  Why did I wake up when I landed only a couple hours ago?  Jet lag?  Hunger??

Lucky for me Duc Voung offered free breakfast from 6 am to 10am.  Unluckily for me the food was bread, butter, an assortment of meat.  But free food…  I just ate the bread, jam , and watered down coffee.

When I returned back to my room, Eric gave me a call letting me know that they will land back in HCMC at about midnight.  Prior to this, I was relying on emails and Ann’s tweets.

An entire day to explore by myself?  I think I will do a little exploring and some drinking.

I knew it would be hot, but by 8:40 am, it was getting really hot!  After doing some rounds around, I went back to my hotel room with a large supply of water.  Filling up my water nalgene and rested up, I went back out to do the walking tour of the city.

The next two hours, I explored the walking tour.  But what I accomplished today would be an amazing feat- I crossed a busy street in HCMC!  Streets in HCMC are literally packed with mopeds and cars.  How people cross on a daily basis is beyond me!  My heart was racing as I made my way across.  The drivers, though, would move around you as you crossed.  By the Bun Thanh market there were tourist cops, which were therer to help people cross the streets.

What was annoying on my walk were the countless moped taxi guys following me, asking me if I wanted a ride, or a girl for a blow job.

Errr…

I kept on walking.

But they kept on asking.  If not them, someone else.

As the day grew on, I started to feel a little light headed.  So good thing for me I brought extra water with vitamin C to drink up.  With noon approaching, that meant I needed to get some lunch.

I went to look for a simple lunch; which I got rice, fried tofu, and a Heineken.  For a simple meal it sure did take a while for it to be done.  Really it was simply rice and fried tofu with some seasoning.  I am marking this place off to where to go for food.  Eric and Ann would research where to go, but, I like to walk in for a surprise.

At least the beer was cheap.  Ann did mention a place called Sen and said that it was close to the hotel.

I made my way back to the hotel to get some rest when I ran into Ann’s mom and cousin.  They were getting ready to go shop and eat lunch.  Asking me if I wanted to tag along, but, being tired I said next time.

When I woke up, I decided to make way back out to the market, I realized that it had just rained!  The sky was really dark and dramatic for a couple minutes before it all cleared up.  Looking around, I realized I left my map back at the hotel room.

Geez.

So now that I can’t find my way, I figured that I should hit the bar.  I went to a bar called, “Go2Bar.”  The decor made it look like something out of the Caribbean.  I must be striking out, as their cocktail wasn’t special.  It was really watered down.  I should have just gotten a beer, even though, majority of the beers are lager beers.

Good Morning Saigon
Cherry on the cup
Cointreau
Gin
Pineapple Juice

But I got the recipe, so I will have to try making it myself.

Time was creeping up and Eric, Ann, and Vincent will soon arrive!  Hooray!

It was to get some Pho!

I first went to Pho Quyan was my first stop.  It was a two story cornershop that only served beef pho.  I have, lately, been not as strict with my vegetarian diet.  I have eaten dishes with eggs in them, but I won’t touch beef, chicken, or seafood.
Since they lacked the vegetarian option, I crossed district 1, HCMC was cut up into districts when it used to be a colony of France.  As I trekked I saw Pho 2000.  It couldn’t be that bad… could it?  It looked like a fast food place…

I crossed the busy street at night, which was much worse than during the day!  At a major intersection!  And the place was right next to the marketplace.  Another geez!

My bowl of pho looked good.  Maybe I am too used to the Pho back at home, but the pho tasted a little bland.  Or maybe how they cooked it.  But a lot of the locals were here eating…

NOOOOO!
My first bowl of Pho in Vietnam didn’t wow me!  Where are the sauces?  They were out of the important sauces.  Crap.

A little disappointed I went back to my hotel room to bide the time till they arrived.
I went to the upstairs deck to get a drink and maybe shoot some night shots of what I could see from that vantage point.  I thought there would more people up there but it was pretty vacant.  

A kid from Denmark saw my camera around me side and wanted to ask me questions about photography.  Christopher was a nice kid and pretty talented young man.

I excused myself and went back to my room to shower.

At 12 am, there was a knocking at my door!  Eric, Ann, and Vincent finally came back!

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