A bit more of luck wouldn’t hurt! 27th of January

The ride was just ok, but in the morning a not nice surprise was waiting for us in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh. Somehow, they had lost the backpack of Floh during the trip. Another girl had the same issue, and we spend the morning trying to understand where the hell they were, until we discovered that they had been dropped somewhere by mistake and were travelling back to Hoi An. The agreement was to come back the day after, and they would have had the backpacks back. We headed to our usual search of the cheapest hostel in town, and we ended up with a weird woman that we guessed was an ex-prostitute, Kim, who rented us a room that we decided we liked (A. didn’t have the same feeling when he reached us!).

We spent the afternoon going around in the city, wandering in the flower market, to Notre Dame, the Reunification Palace, the Post Office and the War Museum.

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The museum was tough, for all of us. The pictures, the weapons, the letters and the stories of people suffering because of the chemical weapons used during the war have a deep impact on visitors. This was probably the most difficult museum to visit ever, the feeling that it gives to the people is strong, almost cruel. We met outside at the end of the visit in silence, sitting on the stairs for a while. It always sounds so obvious to say that wars are horrible, that people suffer, but when it happens to catch something deeper about how humans can behave, that just make you think a lot. Flood of words have been said and written about wars. War causes pain, always. How can we travelers show ourselves in those places, looking into the eyes those men, women, children, how can we communicate our disdain for what happened to their brothers, their families, without feeling a deep sense of shame for what was not done to help. We directed ourselves to the closest coffee place to think a little and talk and try to get out from the strange feeling that the museum had left to all of us.

We walked around a little bit more, but An. was tired so we went back to the hostel , passing by the Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater, and we waited for A. to reach us again.

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At night, we bumped into the couple that we had met in the morning (she was the girl of the backpack), and we had some beers together and great talks. The area where you can spend  lively nights, full of people ( backpackers) is undoubtedly Bui Ven Street.  Packed with cheap bars, restaurants and cheap hotels, an evening in the area is a must-do, and as always in those places, a lot of fun! It was a really nice night, we shared some travel stories and many advice for our trip or for future trips.

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Everything was really good, until A., before going to bed, decided that he really wanted a hamburger. An. went to bed, Floh and I waited for him on a stair in front of the hostel. We left him alone for FIVE minutes. I mean, five minutes. And when he came back his mobile phone was gone. A prostitute (yeah, the district turned into red lights at late night) passing by the street had stolen it. The rest of the night was pretty weird, with A. going around to ask everybody if they knew the girl who had stolen it, and me and Floh trying to keep him calm, not really easy if you kind of know A. At one point he was punching a wall, and was going to give money to a perfect stranger who promised to bring the phone back (yes, sure). He was slightly desperate.

Finally he surrendered, and we all went to bed.

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