Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 01 2015

Back from Vietnam, etc.

The hotel had arranged for a car to the airport leaving at 7:30 a.m., but we were up at 5 and out on the streets to watch the city come to life. Chenbl was looking for the city gate we’d stumbled upon the previous day, but we failed to restumble upon it, and instead spent the time wandering around markets and random streets as the sun appeared and began to cast interesting light here and there.

Just as the light was getting really good, though, we had to leave. Time was up. Breakfast was had, and soon we were in the car driving sedately (there seems to be no other way to drive in Vietnam…everything is more or less sedate) in the direction of the airport. No muss, no fuss. We tipped the driver and walked back into the flurry cloud of travel, which included a large group of Very Loud Chinese just behind us. Oddly, the woman at the desk had us weigh our carry-ons, and then declared that we’d have to check them as they were over seven kilograms. This has never happened to me before, not just being over the weight, but having to weigh my carry-on luggage at all. Now we were free and unencumbered, with no worries as long as we didn’t miss our connecting flight.

flightSo we missed our connecting flight. It wasn’t our fault; our flight out of Hanoi was delayed coming in, so by the time we got to Hong Kong our other flight had already left. We might have made it if air traffic control hadn’t had us flying in circles for half an hour. The women who met us at the gate in HK already had us on the next Cathay flight back to Taipei, but they’d also put us in the very middle seats. Once we were on board I asked a stewardess if there were any window seats available. The HK woman next to me then asked her the same thing. Five minutes later, the HK woman was escorted to an emergency exit window seat, but Chenbl had to snap at the stewardess to remind her of my request. In any case, I ended up with a nice view of the brand-spanking new Rolls-Royce engine as we jetted back to Taipei, a few hours behind schedule.

The train station, where the bus dropped us off, was full of people, as it tends to be on weekends. I really can’t wait for the airport MRT to be finished so I can start bitching about that instead of the airport buses. I was exhausted by the time I got home, and went to bed without fully unpacking.

The reason for this was that the next day, i.e. Sunday, I was hosting/judging a photography event in Sanxia. In order to make it there on time, I caught the first bus from Xindian at 6:40 a.m., arriving in Sanxia a little after 7. After wandering around the market a bit and meeting up with Chenbl and Ewan, the people who had arranged the event briefed me on what I was supposed to do. Basically it was a contest for market photography, and the event was kicking the whole thing off. I talked a little bit about this and that, went with them around the market, and we took some photos. It was fun. A few dozen photographers registered for the event, which includes some very nice prizes. Many of the participating photographers were seriously equipped older men who weren’t quite sure what the hell I was doing there but were afraid to ask.

Afterwards, we had some lunch in an alley, and then walked over to the temple to meet up with my friend Ashish, who brought along his two adorably cute kids. We walked around and chatted over ice treats before Ashish had to leave.

Just then a temple ceremony started up, so we watched people taking statuettes in and out of the temple, accompanied by fireworks. Then it was back on the bus home. This time, however, I felt that my trip was truly concluded. I’d been thinking so much about getting up and going to the event that I hadn’t truly relaxed since I got back.

Aaaand now it’s Monday. There are some reports in the media about the event, but nothing major. Anyway, back to work. See you later.

posted by Poagao at 11:18 am  

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