56. Ice Helped Soothe the Spice

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Our last day in Vietnam was spent cowering in fear of the harsh sun… Saigon’s sun is intense! We ran from the hostel to a nearby restaurant, hoping for a cheap last meal. We were also hoping for quick service, as we had a bus to catch. This was not the case. Lucky me, I got my bowl of rice and fish within 20 minutes. Louise’s spring rolls, on the other hand, never showed up. With the waitress apologising profusely we had to rush back to the hostel to pick up our bags. With two Bahn Mis in hand, our sweaty bodies weighed down by the oversized backpacks, it was in the nick of time that we managed to catch the last running airport bus of the day.

We arrived tired and hungry in Bangkok airport at 19:30, and began the trek to find our hostel, picking up some Thai canteen food before taking a bus to Khao San Road. This picture was taken moments before my mouth became a pit of fire.

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Panic set in. I gotta say though, I was smart – accepting the fact that I was a weak European and pushing aside the spice. Louise really tried, I’ll give her that. But after five minutes, I was running to the smoothie stand while Louise, tears streaming down her face, was starting to see double.

I was ready to pass out in a soft bed once we got to the hostel – I must have gotten about 3 hours of interrupted sleep the night before. We ended up at yet another party hostel (cheaper is not always better!), and in a 16-bed dorm, we had people throwing up, strangers walking into our room shouting ‘John? John!’ and exclaiming ‘he isn’t here’… and of course they didn’t close the door on the way out. So I was ready to zonk out for 12 hours… and zonk out I did. However, three hours later, we had a repetition of the night before. I awoke to a girl screaming things that shall not be recounted to someone on the other end of her phone. Then commence the puking and the falling out of beds. I tell you, I could not be more excited for a quiet few weeks at organic farms.

Our first day in Bangkok was spent wandering and getting lost – our way of being tourists. Although we didn’t see much, we really got to experience the touristy area of the city, as well as the back-streets. We sat in a beautiful park for a few hours, and nearly got drenched by this guy:

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We then wandered back to the hotel to escape the unyielding heat for a couple of hours. After cooling down with what must have amounted to 10 glasses of water, we headed out to find the famous mango and sticky rice.

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Although this dish was delicious, the first bite had us confused – the cold, sweet mango contrasted the salty, hot rice really well. The balance of flavour, texture, and – surprisingly enough – temperature was a strange and pleasant experience.

We later headed out for street food, and stumbled upon this cute thing:

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We also finally got our kit-kat ice cream – something we had been craving for a while:

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Then we found hella cheap Pad Thai and sat on a curb listening to live music and watching the swarms of tourists flow by.dsc_0252

 

//Niamh

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