Hello. This is the entity referred to previously in the blog as "hubby", "hubs", and similar names. I am sat at home in cold Hertfordshire while my very brave wife is in Vietnam. I left her at Heathrow airport early Friday morning, after an overnight stay at a nearby hotel. A text a little later, saying that she'd accidentally tried to check in with Virgin Atlantic rather than Singapore Airlines, did not seem an auspicious start. However I got a text from her late last night to say that she'd got the plane OK and was now waiting for her connection.
This morning I have received an email missive from her, so I can happily confirm that she is now in Vietnam. Her message is below. I'd just like to say how immensely proud I am of what Vicky is doing, and feel a little ashamed that I'm only going there for the holiday bit at the end. Ashamed, yes, but also rather relieved...
Oh yes, and the Zaurus that she refers to is a tiny PDA-sized computer that I've given her with a wireless card to make it easier for her to keep in touch without lugging around anything too heavy.
More later, including some pictures I hope. Paul.
Got here after the flight that took forever... negotiated a taxi at the airport for what is probably the average national wage and to add insult to injury then was asked for a tip as it is New Year. Bit grumpy as couldn't sleep on the plane and almost had a tantrum when I arrived at the hotel to find we had been moved to another one. A short taxi ride later and I was checked into a room on the eighth floor with a central open light well. Due to my inclination to throw myself off heights I am having to "mission impossible" round the walls to get to my room but other than that the hotel is better than I expected.
Now feeling refreshed after an afternoon nap followed by a foot massage... which went well until he saw his tip (over fifteen percent) but you would have thought I had smacked him from his expression.
It is not as hot as I had feared but still a bit daunting. In a wave of masochism I am looking forward to tomorrow and just hoping I can get some sleep this evening (its 7.30 pm here and I am a member of the really wide awake club which I shouldn't be only having had 2 hours sleep since Friday morning).
Apart from a few problems with punctuation and ridicule from colleagues the Zaurus is working well... although apologies for the lack of commas I can't work out how to get them and as for apostrophes... that is moon on a stick territory
ttfn ... I am hoping hubbie corrects spelling a little!
I visited Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos in 2002. One of the things that really struck me about the countries was the indefatigable people, the welcome extended to visitors and the simple joy taken in small pleasures. But, having visited the Museum of the American War in Ho Chi Minh City, seen the 'Danger UXB' signs in Laos and read the good news headline in a paper in Cambodia: ' Deaths from UXBs down to 3 this month. Only 40 maimed.' I was acutely aware of the toll still being taken on the population.
Over the years I have pondered the munitions still there and this year I have finally decided to get off my bottom and do something. So I have, somewhat impetuously and with little regard for my physical fitness, cycling ability or dodgy left knee decided to join the MAG cycle ride from Ho Chi Minh City to Ankor Wat. I will be doing this the first week or so in Feb 2011 and it does involve a couple of days of over 100km in 30 degree heat. Having signed up I have been told that neither a rickshaw nor an electric bikes are options and that doing the distance on my own pedals is expected.
Donation link is further down on the right - I have paid for my own flights and contributed enough to cover living expenses so all money raised from sponsorship will go to MAG.
This is my blog of my progress to get on the road and when I am there - assuming I will be capable of rational thought after a day of unaccustomed exercise.