Friday, November 24, 2006

Adventures in My Tho

My Tho - Richard on trishaw, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

After a morning at the floating markets around Can Tho and stops off at noodle factory and incense factory and a lunch of fried snake meat and noodles, we made it down the delta to My Tho. A crumbling hotel with high celings, a slow fan, a tiny bathroom and no airco awaited us.

We had part of the afternoon still free, so we got this chap to take us on his trishaw to the Cao Dai Cathedral. Cao Dai is a made up religion, a bit like them all actually, only this one is not so old. The Cathedral was a mixtrure of Catholic Cathedral and Chinese temple and Jesus could be seen as one of the Gods. Apparently Winston Churchill was one of the heroes of this religion, along with Napoleon Bonaparte. As I said to Ruichard, people will believe anything, given the right circumstances. Anyway, not so much time now, so I imagine more can be found about this religion on some internet search engine. We enjoyed our trip around town until it came to paying when our driver asked for double what the women had asked yesterday for the one hour trip on the river. Still, not so much money, so not worth having too much of an argument in the middle of the street with him. And, I am a bit of a soft touch anyway.

Later, after finding some excellent dinner in the form of fresh noodles and prawns, we were on the look out for beer. Nothing to be had in the park in front of the hotel, nor in the side streets nearby, so when a copuple of motorbike drivers called us over, we called back beer and made a gesture with our hands of knocking back a glass of cold beer. They seemed to understand, so we were off. Off past the beer garden we had seen earlier on, off along another road and then out into the country across a copuple of bridges, past some more beer gardens to a quiet looking house in the countryside. Quiet until we pulled up that is because we hardly had time to jump off before a number of (very prtetty) young girls came out to greet us. When we protested, the ugly toothless driver lai\ughed and poointed to the advertising sign outside showing that beer was served here as well! Well, we managed to persuade them to take us back.... but not back to where we had come from but to another place in town not altogether near the hotel, to a restaurant on the verge of closing which looked suspiciously like it was going to serve us warm beer on ice!

We wandered back a bit puzzled at the lack of beer and wondered if those Malaysian methodists had managed to make their inroads into the local council. We have no idea but we passed cafe after cafe on teh way back selling nothing more harmful than some bright green liquid in jugs and the usual cola. A nice lady asked us to sit with her and ger family and treated us to a gl;ass of mango and apple juice as we did our best to converse with the hands and the feet.

One thing about My Tho though is how very very friendly everyone seems to be... it is like Diyarbakir all over again, with us hardly being able to walk 20 yards without being called out to and asked to sit down for a drink or a bite or whatever.

Tomorrow Saigon and some thinking about how we want to spend our last two weeks here in Vietnam. Good night, all.



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