Saturday, November 1, 2008

(PICTURE: Our Mai Chau stilt house)

(NOTE: You may have read on the news that Hanoi is completely flooded. Well, it's the truth. About 60-80% of the roads in the city are under water at the moment. I've got some GREAT footage of it BUT my camera, which got pretty wet, isn't uploading photos/videos. Hopefully my camera will dry out tonight and I can blog about the flood of '08 tomorrow). But until then, back to Mai Chau:

The ride from Hanoi to Mai Chau took Justin and I about six hours. One thing I've learned a few times is that Honda Waves are meant for short trips/city driving. After about an hour or so my hands and feet became numb and my back was aching. To fight the body pain we were both experiencing we stopped a few times on our journey.

At one of the stops, a pretty strange thing happened. We went to this outdoor cafe and sat down at a table in a gazebo. The owner/waiter came over and asked us what we wanted. Using my best Vietnamese I asked for two iced milk coffees. The waiter looked confused -- clearly not understanding my accent -- until I heard somebody behind me repeat my order. The person's voice was pretty high pitched but the owner/waiter understood him and went to make us our drinks. A few minutes later I turned around to see who had repeated my order and was surprised to see that nobody was there. The only thing there was a PARROT. Yes, a parrot understood my Vietnamese better than any Vietnamese person I've met.

Anyway, we eventually got to Mai Chau and I decided to do something pretty stupid -- ride and film at the same time. Here's a little of the footage:

video

You can't fully tell, but I almost nailed that cow. I had a last second swerve to avoid it.

After pulling into the village we found the stilt house (AKA adult tree house) that Ryan and Jessica had stayed at a couple months ago (see the picture at the top). Overall it was a great ride to Mai Chau. There was tons of beautiful scenery and best of all, no accidents!