Saturday, February 16, 2013

Vinh Long City (Feb 8)

So we decided to go to the city.  It's about 25 kilometers north of here, across several waterways, over QL (highway) 53.  We have two motorbikes.  I like the Honda Super Dream, because it is easier to drive.  It's also smaller, bumpier, and less comfortable for the riders.  So I drove the bigger bike (Mega-Dream?  whatever...).  It's nicer to ride on, but I'm more worried about dodging buses and trucks.

There are a lot of buses and trucks to dodge.  On a two-lane highway with potholes.  Fortunately, speeds rarely exceed 30MPH... but a head-on is still 60, and that's serious.

Anyway, we got our helmets, locked the house, and rode the 25km to the city.  It was fun.  Alex likes riding the motorbike, but he's always disappointed when I drive because I make him sit behind me, in front of Tu.  Ong Ngoui (grandpa) lets him sit in front.

Riding is really nice - it was early in the morning, so the wind was still a little cool.  We wore masks, so I couldn't wear my glasses (they fog up), so I had to dodge bugs as well as buses.  Nevertheless, it was a nice drive.

We got into town, and I followed Ba and Ma around a corner and into a parking lot.  Oh, it's a Pho place.  Awesome!  Pho for breakfast!  They like this place - they came into town 4 times in a month just to eat here.  I was excited!


Then I was disappointed.  They had too much sugar, and no spice in the soup.  Tsunami is better.  Pho Mai is better (I suppose, I never ate Pho there).  It made my tummy complain.

Then we went to CoopMart, and I was happy again because I could buy Custas and chocolate vinamilk.  It took Alex a while to get used to CoopMart, but eventually he was running around causing trouble, like normal. :-)  The pics are out of focus because, two-year-old in CoopMart.

After CoopMart, we went to DongA bank, where you can get 2.0% interest on US dollar deposits, which is 20 times what you currently get in the U.S.  Go figure.  We also stopped by a pharmacy and picked up some Omeprazole, which is good for all kinds of acid reflux prevention.  Then we drove back home.

Typical CoopMart parking lot 



Shampoo.  Or motor oil.  I'm not sure which.

 Looking for something to pull off the shelf.

Ba and Ma looking for... something - a new broom, I think.

 Hmmm... what should I break?

 XaXi (or Sarsi)... a local variation of root beer.  You might not like it, but Tu does.  Also, I do.

I tried translating this sign.  I think it says "If you steal this ugly box, we will shoot you."

Well, Ba didn't drive straight home.  He stopped at the market, and we drove straight home.  Then we realized we didn't know the combination for the lock on the gate, so we drove back south on the dirt road again, then turned back east toward TL901 (generally, back in the direction of the local market), just for fun.

The road is under construction, which means after the very dangerous soft dirt, you get moderately dangerous small rocks, and then a quarter mile of un-navigateable large rocks, which will (some day) be turned into small rocks.  And we're still on the big bike which doesn't maneuver well.

So we turned around and went back the way we came, and I almost laid the bike down again in the soft dirt.  But all is well.  We got home, and I had my Custas and chocolate milk.

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