Thoughts on being flung

Post date: Nov 26, 2012 9:12:16 AM

So flung far from you all but thinking of you. It is a place where all of us would find something but v v hot

Arriving in Vietnam had its own peculiarities. You had to queue to collect your visa - stood with 100s of people and handed over passport, papers and $US25 to officious woman in uniform who walked away. (Remember I've already paid $US20 to apply)Think 100s of puzzled looking people in immigration hall. Eventually there is a random calling of names so when I hear "MadamSandra Mary" I find my turn has come - and quite quickly compared to others. Then you queue to go through immigration and border patrol. Got out of airport and could remember the Lonely Planet guide that said "Beware of taxi scams at airport. Take only reliable taxi from rank". Walked over to taxi rank when man took my suitcase for the taxi. To my chagrin he bypassed the taxi rank and got into beaten up unmarked Toyota. It felt worse when he demanded money before he drove off so he could pay exit fee. I was thinking I had been conned even before leaving airport but he charged exactly what Lonely Planet said fare to city would be and delivered me to hotel door. Thought it was all done but found I didn't have a booking at hotel until Thurs night. Fortunately They gave me a room for the rest of the time but it is not one of their flashiest rooms. I am v happy it has good air conditioning, is v quiet and breakfast is included in room price.

I was worried about the size of the seats and gap between but it was not too bad - my knees touched seat in front so heaven knows how Mark and Adrian would cope.

Did get to see beautiful dawn - not sure how good the photo is.

This is really yesterday's post . . .One of the things that travelling anywhere from NZ really brings home is how far it is to get anywhere.

Even allowing for the fact that the cheap flight to Vietnam wasn't the most direct it still took more than 24 hours from Auckland to Ho Chi Minh. China Airlines is the national carrier for Taiwan so their hub is Taipei. Flight included a 2 hour stop In Sydney - arrived about 9pm and even though it was one flight number and one boarding pass we definitely changed planes and air crew. Travelled overnight to Taipei landing there at 4:30am. I know that NZairports are closed between 2-4am but I thought Asia never slept - Taipei does. When we landed the were 2 sleepy transit processors who checked our bags and documents and then about 40 people off that flight who we're transiting were left to wander the halls of a totally empty terminal. Around 6am it all came to life and by 7 it was busy. I suspect I'll see a different version of Taipei on my return. Some amazing decorations not that you can see that from here.