Rain here in Bien Hoa is not like rain i have ever seen before!
It doesn't just rain...it pours! The streets flood, and everything seems to shut down except for the motorbikes, cars, and taxis that chug their way through the small rivers.
Today a motorbike came my hotel to pick me up for my class this afternoon. I wondered why the school hadn't sent a taxi, but didn't question my driver and obediently donned a poncho and helmet. I ducked my head behind my driver and braced myself for the torrents of rain. We sloshed through the alley into the main street (i mean river) and began slogging down the road. I had to lift my feet up off the motorbikes pedals to keep them semi-dry. Rain penetrated my poncho and i could feel myself getting wet. A few minutes later my driver turned around and said, "Taxi?" I nodded dramatically, "YES! Taxi." We slogged back to my hotel and i continued my trip to the school indoors in a taxi. Ah, the joys of life in Vietnam. I actually love the rain here, though. I love hearing it pound on our metal roof so hard that i can't hear myself talk. I love hearing the thunder and watching the rain pour down onto Bien Hoa from my balcony. And the rain brings cooler weather, relieving the hot sticky days here.
Last weekend my team and i made a trip to Ho Chi Min City for a river boat trip - very touristy and very fun!
We rode a bus to HCMC and from there took the tour bus into the country with our tour guide, Dang (and the name says all! haha). The sky scrapers faded to rice paddies and small country houses nestled in green foliage. In amongst the rice fields we saw workers in the traditional pointy hats, squatting down in the fields. Here they bury people in large stone tombs above the ground right in the fields - so we saw many tombs. It was kind of creepy, i mean who wants Grandma and Grandpa right in the front yard?
We arrived at a small river and took a boat to Unicorn Island where i saw how they make coconut milk, get the meat from the coconut, and make coconut candy. We tried some fresh candy - delicious! We also tried coconut wine and snake wine! The snake wine has snakes inside the bottles. Creepy! I also saw how they make rice paper over open fires! So cool. We took motorbikes through the island and stopped now and then for some tourist attractions like holding Michael - the snake - hearing traditional Vietnamese music, drinking tea with honey made right on the island, and eating a delicious meal for lunch! I had elephant fish served whole and upright as if it was still alive! It was actually good! I'll try to post the pictures on Facebook soon, so you can really see everything - words don't do the countryside justice. It was so beautiful...
Well, i hope all of you avid readers are having a wonderful time in the good old USA!
Love from Vietnam!