Week 5 – Viet Nam Part II

If I left off last week in a dream, I must’ve stepped out into a nightmare.

Some waaaaaaste woman thinking she’s big in the game tried to start talking to me about “in London, do you like girl?” and “come to my house, come to my house”, then her and her husband jacked my shoulder bag containing my video camera, half my money, and my train ticket for the evening, and drive off on their scooter.

It’s a shame my wheelchair didn’t have nitrous oxide injections. I would’ve been gone.

What made me most angry was that this wasn’t one of the thousands of Vietnamese living their lives in poverty, but people who, from their appearance, have clearly been thieving their way up the ladder of wealth.

Don’t worry, Karma’s on the way.

My fam had gone ahead to Hue, so I did the only right thing for a rebel like me and hit up the Hanoi Backpackers’ Hostel.

From their initial apprehension – “Ummm, ummm, I’m really sorry, we don’t have any wheelchair accessible rooms” – to quickly realising I ain’t staying in no damn wheelchair-accessible room fool, the guys running the place turned out to be so helpful and constantly full of enthusiasm.

The main thing on the agenda was getting to Hue, because apparently in Vietnam disabled people can’t sneak on trains like I do in the UK.

There were tickets available for the soft-sleeper train. I couldn’t afford the soft-sleeper train.

There were tickets available for the hard-sleeper train. I couldn’t afford the hard-sleeper train.

There were tickets available for the sleeper bus. I couldn’t afford the sleeper bus.

With my remaining 180 Vietnamese dong, the only rims I was going to be riding on was a seated bus. Basically, sitting on a bus for thirteen hours.

And you thought Peckham to Brixton was a mission.

From Hue we went to Hoi An, and I was making serious movements from not having enough money to buy food to staying in a hotel with a swimming pool. Oh yeah!

There seemed to be a lot of war victims in the town, who were falling head over heels at the sight of a wheelchair like mine. Theirs might not have been quite as hi-tec, but you can’t tell me you wouldn’t love to see an old-school ting like the one on the right cruising around the big smoke.

Our next stop, Whale Island, also posed potential obstacles.

To put it simply, my wheelchair is not saying much on sand.

This made the first journey from hut to bar a struggle, but when we caught two Vietnamese men using what I like to call “The Truck” to transport food supplies, that mechanism got swiftly taken!

Check out the pictures. This is revolutionary technology in the flesh.

The island did also provide me with new and exciting opportunites.

My mum described the chances of me going deep sea diving as, in her opinion, “impossible”.

Think again baby!

When we discovered the bar “Before ‘N’ Now”, I could not believe my eyes. Sketches of iconic revolutionaries lined the walls, what their flyer described as “cool music” infused the atmosphere, and Premiership football was on the screen.

Could this trip get any better?


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