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The Countryside

I woke up with some pain in my wrist for obvious reasons.

When we unloaded the bus, I went straight for a VinaSun taxi to take me to the FV hospital.  But he didn’t know where he was going, so he went the long way to the hospital.  It got to the point that I had to call the hospital to give the driver directions.

The representative said that I had to be dropped off at the ER since I had to wait for the orthopedics to come in and since I already had a cast on.

When I got there, I saw the rep. he looked like Andrew… holy…

Anyway he told me that I had to wait in the lobby till about 8 am so I can try to see an orthopedic specialist.  In the mean time, he held onto my bag of clothes and day bag since they didn’t have a dedicated space to hold personal items.  Understandably.

I sat alone in the lobby waiting for the time to see the doctor.  It is hard to admit to it, but, the fear and shock hit me being all alone inside the hospital lobby.  Tears started to well up.  It could have been so much worse than what happened, yet, being hit like that left me in shock!  I have never broken a bone nor got hit like this before.  I certainly do not want to experience that again!

I saw that I had wifi, so I emailed Dave and Adriana to let them know what had happened.

Dave was stunned that a moped hit me, but was glad I wasn’t in a much worse state.  Adriana was shocked as well.

I finally went into the ortho. waiting room.  Where I was told the orthopedic specialist was on a very tight schedule, but I asked her to see if she could squeeze in an appointment.

When I did get to see the doctor, I was told I would need surgery with metal plates or I could wait to go home, since I was leaving in two days anyway.  Since my insurance wouldn’t cover this procedure, I would have to pay out of pocket $5900.  Surely cheap in comparison to home even with insurance, but….

Oh shit.

So I said to the doctor that I will wait till I get back to the states for the procedure.  She had my dressing redressed and prescribed me pain killers.  I had to pay 100 in USD for the consultation and then pay for my medicine and sling at the pharmacy.

At the pharmacy I had a three step process to get my medicine filled.

  1. drop off prescription.
  2. wait for the cashier
  3. wait for prescription to be filled.

While mostly like in the United States, only that the process took much longer.

When I finally got all this done, it was nearly 12 pm and keep in mind I got there at 7 am in the morning.  When I tried to call Eric, dad’s cell phone died.

Can this situation get any worse?  The charger’s pin was bent so it could not recharge the phone either, and when the guy tried to call the hotel eric was not there.  And the receptionist patched me to the wrong room!

The stars were not in my favor apparently.

After all these mishaps, he was kind enough to put his battery into my phone so I could call Eric.  Which I finally got a hold of.  I had to go to his current hotel and just wait for him there.

Taking the taxi, I got to the hotel to wait for Eric.  The taxi stopped across the street.  I asked him if he could go across, especially with the oncoming mopeds I certainly not after my accident.  But he said he couldn’t.

I paid him his fee and then waited in the lobby for Eric and Vincent.  When they came in, they were like, “Only Uncle Ted could get himself into this mess.”



Eric gave me the password for the wifi so they could pack their things because we had to go to our other hotel.  Every time I tried to book a room at the hotel, I would time out.  I hope this isn’t going to take a lot of money out of my account.  Damn you, spotty internet connection!

We just decided to go to the hotel and book a room there that way.  So we took a taxi to the hotel after grabbing all our gear.  The receptionist thought she saw me before.

“what happened to you?  Last time I saw you you were ok.  It must have been a little while ago.”

Hmmm.. I don’t remember going to Lan Lan 2 before.  Either she saw me coming in and played that card or she has crazy precognitive thought!
I took a quick sponge bath, since I haven’t showered in a day and I still had blood and grime all over me from the accident.

But what really needed to be cleaned were my clothes.  They were dirty, sweaty, and smelly!

Eric told me that the plan was to go to Ann’s relatives in the Mekong delta.

We packed only day’s worth of clothes and left all other things inside the hotel room.  I tucked my ipad and hyperdrive into the hotel lock safe and only brought my camera gear and clothing.  This was going to be tough with one arm.  Even with the lower amount of things that I was bringing.

We met up with Ann’s mom, who was shocked to see my wrist broken, and went to Sen for lunch.

In the middle of the meal I had to use the bathroom and when I went to the bathroom the lights went out.  There is no window light and being in a cast, made it kinda hard to find everything.  Luckily I remembered where the toilet paper.  Behind me.  No pun intended.

I cleaned up and went back downstairs to pay for the meal.

We left for our bus stop, which was really seedy, but then when I saw the bus we had to load into, it was much worse!  We packed into the bus like sardines!  The driver drove like a maniac, weaving in and out of lanes and speeding up on bumps.  Let me tell you about those bumps, every bump we felt and were hit by the shock!  We bounced up so high till our heads hit the ceiling!

After two hours of this, we got to our stop to get onto the mopeds to get to the ferry.

Mopeds?  Really??  Again with the mopeds!  When we crossed the busy intersection, I closed my eyes and held on with my dear life!

What made this worse was that my driver was going really fast.  As fast as his moped could take us with our combined weight!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!  The fear was still fresh in my mind from the accident, couldn’t you drive just a little bit slower?

Luckily the trip only lasted a frightful twenty minutes because we got to the ferry.  It was a little tug boat that brought passengers across the delta to the other side.

The Mekong delta was supposed to be gorgeous, but the locales used the river to dump their trash and waste.  Leaving the river polluted and dirty.  We passed shanty houses till we got to the relatives place where the grandmother wanted to touch my broken wrist.  Ann’s mom told them what had happened to me and they proceeded to stare at me.  

While Eric and I stashed our stuff into our room, Vincent already ran off with his cousins to play.  We took a stroll around the neighborhood where I got to practice with one handed photography with the 1D mk3.  It was pretty heavy, but doable.  The problem that I ran into was changing the AF point, since it was a little tricky to press the button and keep the camera slightly steady.  But other than that I can still shoot!  Thank goodness for primes!  

Still, I told my friend, Junshien, that I wouldn’t be able to 2nd shoot for him when I got back in Boston.  I was strategizing how I would even drive to work with my left wrist broken.  

Cleaning myself here was the by the bucket method.  They have a bathtub and running water, but to save the water here since it is collected from rain, we used the bucket method.  Not something I haven’t done before and it made cleaning myself with a cast easier.  It just took a little longer.

Afterwards we played this card game, where I did a lot of winning.  haha!  But I was really tired and went to bed early.  So I went to sleep first, almost pulling down the mosquito netting with me.  oops!