Asia | South East Asia | Vietnam | Far North | Hanoi – The Hairy Arab Shitster Cometh
Not feeling at me best, good people. I had a doctor arrive at my hotel this morning (he fetched me from beside the swimming pool, like), and diagnose me with Reflux Asophagitis (you callin’ me a cant?), the symptoms of which are that it is extremely annoying to eat, drink, burp, smoke, but more importantly, mean that I cannae drink for a week. And the hairy Arab shitster is leaving in a few days. Is that likely? Is it minge. Either way, the last few weeks shall be tempered down into a none-too-long brief sojourn across the wilderpants of the King’s sitchooo-ay-shahhhhhns, praise be to Allah McBeal.
Where were we?
We arrived back in Nanning-ha’nin-here to meet Yanky Mother Hanky (Matt). We got off the bus, asked a man the way to the train station (where our hotel was located) and he said “Aaaaah, it’s five minutes by bus”, and after a shall-we-walk-or-bus-it discussion which resulted in our opting for the latter (which we still thank the Lord we chose otherwise we’d still be walking now, the lying bar steward), we got our shit together and hit town for a meal. Which was nowt special. Post that though, we ended up waling around, trying to find a place to shoot some pool. A couple of guys who we’d askled directions from, and who were pissed rogerless, ended up telling us the pool joint was closed, “but let’s have a drink”. Sitting in a typical plastic-table-outside-restuarant-style Chinese joint, we got the beers in. There’s five guys with Paddy, Dave and meself, none of whom speak a single word of English (errrr, apart from Paddy, Dave and meself). So me and the Pad (you remember Paddy, the guy who we’ve now named hairdressers after (Paddyshops) due to his barber shop foibles) are translating. And the conversation’s interesting. “Western men have big dicks!”, says one. “Western women have big tits!”, he shouts again in the middle of a conversation about Taiwanese relations with China. Another guy says to me, “You want to go to the toilet?” And I say no, and he points to his crotch and makes a motion for us to leave together. Untempted by this quality offer, I decline. Then we start teaching them swear words in English. We have five guys shouting “You faaacking casaaant!” and “Git da fum and reeeeeeel!” (literal translation: Git the fock aaaaaatta heeeeeee) pretty damn quick. Then one guy tries to do his Michael jacskon impression: “Ooo! Aaaa! Ih! Oo!”. Anyway, the night’s good, and we leave, with Paddy by this stage not having hit a Paddyshop for over four days, and wake up the next day deciding that we should get cracking, and hit the road to the Nam, land of the Vietnamese, and where we’re itching to find out whether anyone really does say “Me lav ya lang tiiiine”.
HANOI, ME LAV YA LANG TIIIIINE
After doing our usual aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh-we’ll-be-able-to-do-this-9-hour-trip-in-3.6 nonsense, we set off for Namsville one bright afternoon. After realising that I had a stack of Diazzies on me containing 5mg of Valium, we all decided that it would be ridiculous not to have one for the journey to the border. Which was a good idea, as it turns out, cos the driver had decided to pipe the horn of the bus through the loudspeakers. The Chinese love beeping their horns at any car/bike/scooter/person/chicken they pass, but this guy was something special, I tell ya. Four hours later, and after yet another border incident involving my passport being glanced at by 73 separate officials whilst everyone else passed through immediately, we crossed the border and were in Nam. A quick bus ride over to the nearest town to the border, Long Shan, and we were already being greeted by what must be, in all our opinions, the most outRAGEously friendly people ever to walk the face of Planet Hearth. Ridiculously so. To the extent where we are now completely fucking convinced that the Vietnamese government is piping Prozac into the drinking water. Example: Second day we arrive in Hanoi, I decide to catch sunset by the lake alone. Within ONE HOUR, maifrens, I had the following people speak to me:
– one guy trying to sell me some books, me declining, so him taking me over to his friend’s stall to drink some Vietnamese tea
– two kids trying to sell me some books, me declining, both of them draping themselves over me for half an hour offering to sell me the moon in exchange for the sun
– two women (evenin, madam) stopping to have a conversation about their university courses and England
– a university student wanting me to fill out a questionnaire on present-giving- two guys sitting with me, attempting to talk, then writing “HELO” on my knee
One hour, people, one hour. Thing is, some travellers have minced on about all this being too in-yo-visage, etc. etc., but deep daaan, they’re still undeniably stupidly friendly.
Hennyway, we grab a minibus to Hanoi, shack ourselves up in a nice little hotel for 12 dallah between three of us, and hit town.
There’s one thing about travelling in south east Asia. It’s probably the same everywhere, but here, you seem to bump into people you’ve already met somewhere else, all the time. But that first night was even more ridiculous. I’d been trying to contact a mate of mine who’d opened up a school- actually, this is deeply uninteresting. All that happened that night was that we got rampantly steaming, and that I ended up heading home alone at 4am, losing myself badly amongst Hanoi’s streets (there’s someting about the Nam that means that it’s almost impossible to get your bearings for ages, and have to lose yourself every day and night for the first week of arrival in any new place), and having the following happen in chronological order:
– A poor Christian claiming to need money seriously had his hand in my back pocket trying to grab something when I refused.
– Two motorbikes with a woman on the back stopped to give me the ole “Hello. You vey hanson. Where you go?” Me: “Back to my hotel.” Prossie: “Aaaa, I come with you”.
– A group of guys getting me to sit at the streetcorner with them and down Vietnamese rice wine.
– Me having to take a motorbike ride back after 2 hours, having admitted defeat.
And Hanoi is stunning. It’s friendly, extremely beautiful, ridiculously laid back (but with the maddest traffic in the world; at the north-west end of the lake there’s a large open space into which something ridiculous like 7 roads all congregate, and into which over 3500 motorbikes a second buzz; we actually spent a lot of time in Hanoi just walking into the middle of this space and taking each other’s picture, it was that fucking daft), multi-architectured, and wicked-barred. Awesome. We didn’t do much else in Hanoi, admittedly, bar walk around, eat some sensational tuckah, and hit bars til the wee hours of the morning. A prime example being a 9.30am-er with Matt literally asleep at the table as we ordered a breakfast baguette, having sat in a bar til about that time drinking, blating our music, and skinning up at the table. Just like in Blighty. My hairy fucking ASS, sistah. And apart from being chatted up by a couple of guys (one such conversation went as follows:
Guy: Hello. Where you from?
Guy: You travel alone?
Me: No, I’m with some friends, I’m meeting them later.
Guy: Your groups is only men?
Me: No, two girls and three guys.
Guy: You like men or women?
Guy: The other men in your group, they like men or women?
Guy: Okay. Goodbye.
Yankyboy, who I’m travelling with, gets an average of 7.9 women a day tell him “You vey hanson”. I’m so far averaging 0 women, but in the mincer stakes I’m well in the lead with a mighty 1.4. Do I look gay? Right, don’t fucking answer that, ya bar stewards). But, back to the point in hand, nought much happened, until the arrival of the hairy Arab one, at around 7pm on a Thursday night. And, let me tell you flamers now, Aida is no fucking different in the Nam than she is back in the Big Shmoke. If anything, she’s even fucking nuttier (is that possible, ask the masses?). I’ll save this bastard now, as me and the shitster will be writing a joint one within the next coupla days about all the ballsacks we’ve been up to since her harrival… HO, good people!