Days 3 and 4 (Disclaimer: This post is boring)

Where did I leave off last time? Going out and drinking at a roadside bbq place? It’s Friday morning here, as of the start of this blog, which I probably won’t post until Friday night (Friday morning for those of you in the US). So Thursday, everyone got up around 5:30 again. Quan went off to spend time with an uncle of his on his dad’s side, while Theresa, Evan, and I went to eat breakfast with the rest of the family. I don’t exactly remember what the name of the soup we had was, but I found it to be tasty. We had taken a separate cab from the adults, since they had to help my grandpa down the stairs (the elevator was being repaired), and found that our cab driver knew some English and French. Too bad we didn’t figure this out until we were practically to the restaurant, but hey, it was nice knowing that some cab drivers know a decent amount of English. Elaborate fountain/garden in the living quarters. Once we finished eating breakfast, Theresa, Evan, and I went to the Reunification Palace. Originally, we had thought that it had been the residence of Ho Chi Minh, but didn’t figure out that it was someone else’s palace until we had pretty much gone through the entire thing. Unfortunately, my camera battery started dying halfway through our excursion, so I wasn’t able to take as many pictures as I would’ve liked. I guess we subconsciously rushed through it, having spent so much time at the war remnants museum the night before, because we found ourselves back outside of the palace about 1.5 hours later. Clearly, this would be a long day. Fancy fountain from the front view. Once we got off of the palace grounds, we went to Cho Ben Thanh (Ben Thanh Market) and browsed for potential souvenirs and gifts to buy at the end of the trip. The number of vendor stalls they have in that place is ridiculous and amazing. And it’s very hot. And humid. Needless to say, we left the market not too long after we had gotten in. After the market, we walked down some side streets nearby and looked at stuff the vendors were selling. Theresa found a Louis Vuitton knock-off for the sweet, low price of $6 US dollars (120,000 in VN currency). Once we tired of window shopping, we took a break and rested at Blue Cafe, where we had ca phe su da (which is always delicious in VN). The cafe had some really cushy lounge chairs (basically couches) in their cafe area (there was also a restaurant area upstairs) that were super comfy and made me want to take a nap. Creepy, blocked-off basement tunnel. Naturally, with all this walking around, we became hungry, so Theresa took us to this Banh Xeo (Vietnamese “pancake”) she had been to during her last visit to Vietnam, and it was delicious. By the time we finished, it was 1 PM. We had an appointment with our distant cousin, Thanh, to go fabric shopping to use for the ao dais that would be made for us while we traveled. Since I’m not a clothes-shopping type of girl, I tired of this quickly, as did Evan and Quan, who decided to tag along with us (to their detriment). The whole language barrier also slowed things up quite a bit, even though we had Theresa’s dad as a translator. Eventually, Theresa and I picked the fabrics we wanted, and then we got the hell out of there. When we got back to the apartment, everyone split up to recuperate while dinner was being made in the adults’ apartment. I ended up not napping (which I had done every night prior) because I had been trying to figure out how to unlock my phone to use a VN SIM card. This was more trouble than it should have been, but I eventually figured it out this morning. (For the full story, visit The Watchglass). Not taking a nap made me more tired than ever, but I managed to “man up” and tag along with Evan, Theresa, and Quan to Big Man Beer, though I did start nodding off on the cab ride there. This spot was pretty tourist-y and had a good atmosphere, making the night very enjoyable. Evan and Theresa both ordered 1 liter servings of beer (so experienced!), while Quan and I took it slow and easy with .5 liter servings. By the time we got back to the apartments, we were ready to go to sleep, and sleep we did. I’m unhappy about not being able to nap. Finally, to this morning. Everyone got up around 6:30 (save for me, who got up at 5:45), giving us ample time to take care of business on the internet and pack our suitcases. At 8:30, we started loading our bags into the van that would take us on a(n) (uncomfortable) 10 hour drive to Nha Trang. I tried to sleep, for the most part, but Theresa can be quite talkative, asking her parents various questions along the drive, and I didn’t sleep as much as I would have liked. The constant jostling from the uneven road didn’t help either. However, this ride was nowhere near as bad as the bus ride to Dac Lac last summer, where you had to sit with luggage under your feet and people sitting in the aisle on little plastic stools. Beautiful view of a river during the drive from Saigon to Nha Trang. Fancy schmancy hotel. When we got to the hotel, we were all blown away. This place is definitely nice. Getting out of the car, I had felt groggy and cranky and was ready to go to sleep right then and there (7 PM). After seeing the hotel, I found myself thinking, “I guess I won’t mind if we end up doing something tonight.” Theresa and I are sharing a room on the 12th floor, with a nice beach view. Unfortunately, it was already dark by the time we arrived, so I won’t be able to show a picture of our view until at least tomorrow. At 8:30, we ate dinner at a nice restaurant down the street, where I ordered a bowl of soup (my throat was sore, so I think I might be sick), as well as a pasta dish. The soup was 28,000 (About $1.50), so I thought it would be an appetizer-sized serving. I was definitely wrong; I ended up having to take my pasta in a to-go container. And now, here I am, blogging. It’s almost 12, and definitely time to go to sleep. Another TL;DR post, but maybe I’ll record some videos tomorrow when we go to a resort (we’re going to the amusement park in it), and if the internet permits, I’ll post it here. I dunno how the heck I’m going to study for my MCAT if I’m going to be this tired all the time. (Copy pasta’d from cousin’s blog, will add pictures in later.)
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