Saturday, March 10, 2007

week one in hanoi

so i ate something, maybe the fruit cup (?), on the plane, that gave me food poisoning. after an uncomfortable travel time of over 20 hours, i was glad to see that immigration was quick and simple. by the time i arrived at the hotel, i was definitely sick. after throwing up, i decided to go to the doctors. note to self: try to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs. my fears of cholera or whatever else that is awful were unfounded. the doctor sent me packing with antibiotics, anti-nausea pills and rehydration solution. he probably thought i was overreacting. of course i was. i'm a hypochondriac traveling alone. the last time i had food poisoning in a foreign country, i lost 10 pounds in a week because i refused to eat anything, and developed an irrational fear of food for 5 years. that was when i was 11. right now, i have nightmares of contaminated food and cringe at the thought of street pho.
needless to say, i have not been having a good time. i did, however, muster the energy to book a different hotel for monday-thursday night ($10 rather than the $24/night i've been paying) on a quieter street, but no elevator and definitely less luxurious. they failed to tell me there is noisy construction from 7am to 8pm every day, including sunday, so i'm high tailing it out of here. plus, the room is too big for me, gives me the heebeejeebies.
i also made the trek to a reputable shop to buy a cell phone. if anyone feels like calling, my number is: 011-84-936-714-389. it doesn't cost me anything to receive a call, but it's about $2/minute otherwise.
it's noisy and hectic, although i'm pretty good at crossing the street now. it smells pretty bad, especially the car exhaust, which makes me nauseated. all in all, i wish i were home. frankly, i have no idea how i'm supposed to get any 'work' done. they speak much less english than i had hoped, and the architectural university is quite far from the central city. i think hue, hoi an, da nang, da lat, and saigon will be better. i've decided not to go to Ha Long Bay, which is every tourist's must-see objective, apparently. i don't really like Nature anyway. in fact, i might even take a plane ($53) to Hue rather than the open tour bus ($30 from Hanoi to Saigon) which takes 14 hours. um yeah, sounds like great fun for a girl traveling alone without a padlock to chain her luggage to the rack. maybe i'll sleep sitting on top of it. but then again, maybe the bus is safer than the plane? i fear crashing into a rice paddy somewhere in northern coastal vietnam. oh god.

i do not travel well.

1 comment:

Moya said...

I hope you feel letter soon. I love your blog. I just returned from a conference myself and am so wiped out that I have no idea how I'll teach tomorrow. And that's only domestic travel.