Thursday, April 21, 2011

First you must occupy ze Island...

Phu Quoc Island, a bit like 1940’s Europe. Germans everywhere, occupying every nook and cranny. Perhaps they are trying to annex to island? Or perhaps just a fantastic vacation spot? Only time will tell.

We took a boat to Phu Quoc Island this morning. The boat ride was uneventful, calm seas and no ralphing. We arrived at the docks and did not have any type of transportation arranged. Some guy who takes people in a mini bus asked where we were headed, it was the same place his other two passengers were going, good, three bucks a person? Even better. We waited around with the other two (Germans of course) for a few minutes, noting the massive presence of jellyfish in the water. After a couple minutes the guy was back, this time with three large guys in tow. We piled in the van, and the three guys, who turned out to be from Mexico, busted out their portable bose ipod docking station and proceeded to blast bad club music. We stopped a few times in vain to find cold beer for them, and continued on. Not too much later a quick pee break for the three of them to alleviate their beer filled bladders. While they were out, our two German passengers suggested offering another 50,000 dong to the driver to just take off without them, we laughed, but I think we all actually considered trying it. The first stop was our hotel, and so ended our party bus trip.

Our beach bungalow was not ready yet, so we had to kill a little over an hour. We headed to the restaurant on the beach, and since we had only had a marginal breakfast of packaged cookies and muffin things, we had pineapple and banana pancakes, and the obligatory beer. The view was quite lovely; it did not take long to realize we are a world away from Hanoi.

We spent the day lounging on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and being accosted by drunken fisherman. We were in the water, swimming around looking for fish and such to take pictures of when a couple of fishing boats went by. It was just like the scene from Forrest Gump where Forrest gets excited to see Lt. Dan and basically just walks off the side of the boat. The fisherman was so excited; before we knew it he was right in the water and swimming over to us. What could he possibly be so excited about? Well, he had spotted the great white hope, and that great white hope would be me. I must explain, in Asian culture it is much desired to have the lightest skin possible, quite the opposite of American and most other caucasian cultures. I am indeed a red head, who currently lives in Wisconsin and have not seen the light of day for some time, thanks winter. I’m what some would call a bit pasty right now, and man, this guy was excited to see my pastiness. He came over started saying something in Vietnamese then kissed me on the cheek, very awkward, but ok. He then proceeded to do the same to Brian. It became clear to me this man smelled of alcohol and was quite drunk. One of his boat mates then did the exact same thing. We moved on, then they reaped the situation again a few minutes later, it was indeed very strange. For pictures of this very strange occurrence, visit Brian’s blog.

We rented motor bikes to ride tomorrow (yes mom, I'll be wearing a helmet), took them for a little test drive to get some petrol, should be quite the day tomorrow, very excited to get out and explore the island. Watched a halfway decent sunset this evening, followed by a nice dinner on the beach, sure is a rough life here.

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