posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Traveling Bugs

Two days ago I did a tour of the ancient site of My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Champa ruins can be seen despite having been badly damaged by the war also due to the fact that it was used as a main hiding place by the Vietcong army. The location itself was charming, in a forest at the foothill of Cat's Tooth Mountain with rivers and nice footpaths guiding you around the visit.
Just when I was starting to congratulate myself over not getting a stomach ache in South East Asia, the little bugger hit again! As it did in Thailand last year, it seems to have great fun each time I come over here and loves taking my bowels for a wild ride. No embarasing sprints or panic runs for toilets this time, rather a day and a half spent in the hotel room recovering and thinking what could have done it! Ice coffee tops my chart at the moment but it was too good not to have and... what about those dumplings in the stalls at the market, or did some water droplets go down my throat when i was having a shower, or did I breathe too hard? ...I wonder! So for the bad news I wasn't able to travel to my last intended destination Hue, the good news is that it seems, and I stress IT SEEMS, that my guts roller coaster is over and today I was finally able to get my appetite back, have breakfast, keep it inside my body for more than a few seconds and rent a scooter and go on with my visits in and around Hoi An. First I headed for Cau Dai beach. As I took a turning along the coast a girl on a scooter overtook me and with grand gestures and the most convincing motorised sales pitch I have ever seen told me where i wanted to go! 'You must come to Marble Mountain, it is beautiful, I am very good driver' Riding carefully on my scooter I couldn't quite read the small prints that said something like my family happens to own a marble shop just outside the main temple and why don't you park your scooter there and pay a visit later?. Anyway I kind of knew what to expect but she was still very pleasant and when we arrived I parked just outside her shop and started my way up the mountain where there is a nice temple with good views all around. On my way back I was hoping I could find something I wanted in her shop because I knew she would be very eager for me to visit inside. And even before i got off the gate to the temple there she was beaming a large smile and inviting me in! Trouble was that I was looking for a wooden buddha's head and Marble Mountain doesn't do wood! Everything in the shop was very nice but heavy marble and nothing I really wanted to buy so i paid her some dollars and thanked her for her guided ride! I got my Buddha's head in Hoi An, something I had seen on the first day and something i thought I might want to buy, as I really liked it. Tomorrow is my last day in Vietnam and if everything goes well i can squeeze in a long awaited snorkeling day in Cham Island as my taxi for the airport leaves at 7pm. I am torn about food tonight, should I give the bug another chance, or rather leave Vietnam without having ever tried a bowl of Pho???