it's been 6 days since i last updated this weblog, but already a slew of experiences happened that i need to post before they fade away.
i've taken an 11-hour overnight bus ride on a "air conditioned" bus where the driver switched off the A/C shortly after departure and never turned it on again. (note to self: never take another bus operated by "TM Brothers".) i've met up with a group of great travellers from Canada, Holland, and Israel, and have spent the last few days hanging out with them. we went on Hahn's Green Hat Boat Tour (a holdover from the old "Mama Hahn" days), and can report that it is now so family-friendly that the entire boat (besides us) were families from Southeast Asia, leaving us the odd people out. (if you want a more rowdy time, i recommend "Mama Linh", whose boat appeared to be having a great time.) but they do have some excellent karaoke (my song? "Hotel California") and a floating bar featuring the finest wine from Dalat.
i've been harassed by two vietnamese ladyboy prostitutes on a motorcycle who were simulatenously offering a motorcycle ride, trying to recruit me for "massage", and trying to pick my pockets. (yet again, no victory for the pickpockets, and they buzzed away to find some other tourist to hassle...) i've been scuba diving twice and seen giant moray eels, dived inside a cave full of fish and watched my air bubbles form quicksilver puddles on the cave ceiling, and seen a somewhat reluctant octopus along with several types of fish i hadn't seen before.
and of course, every bar that i've been at has been showing the world cup, which i am completely failing to follow along with.
in other news, today is ATM day, since i ran out of cash after paying for two dives this morning with the good people at rainbow divers. after a quick ATM withdrawal, i am now a millionaire. the contents of my wallet (until i buy my plane ticket to hong kong tomorrow) are worth 2,000,000 vietnamese dong millionaire to be exact, or about $125 USD.
tonight it's a farewell dinner and drinks with my new friends, and then tomorrow morning i'm taking an early bus to saigon (operated by Sinh Cafe this time, whose driver will hopefully leave the air conditioner on for the whole trip), and then meeting up with my good friend tim's father, who has promised that we will "put the chaw bag on" in saigon tomorrow night. good stuff.