Our travels are going well so far. We’ve now left Ho Chi Minh City and are in Can Tho, in the middle of the Mekong Delta. HCMC was fun but we were ready to leave after a day there. It was very chaotic, crowded and loud. Crossing the street with swarms of motorcycles coming at you from every direction at once was particularly terrifying… We stayed outside of the backpackers district so at least we were not surrounded by overpriced tacky stuff all the time.
One perk of the backpacker district was that everything is open late, including… waxing salons! Wandering around at 10pm on our first night, while sipping juice out of a straw straight from a fresh coconut, my friend Stephanie and I happened upon a lady handing out fliers for a beauty salon. We decided to brave the language barrier in order to prepare for our stint at the beach next week… As it turned out the salon was simply a room with several cots lined up next to each other, so Steph and I took our 18-year friendship to the next level. It turned out to be an embarassing and hilarious episode for all concerned..!
This morning we visited the Cu Chi tunnels, which were initially built to resist the French occupation, but then turned out to be extremely useful during the Vietnam War. The Viet Cong used them to hide and wage their guerrilla war. Since they had very little ammunition compared to the US troops, they often used techniques developed in hunting wild animals, such as laying traps in the ground. In particular they seemed to favor variations on a trap where the unsuspecting GI would take one step in the wrong direction, fall through a thin layer of leaves, and be impaled on sharp metal or bamboo spikes hidden underneath. We crawled inside one of the tunnels for a few hundred meters. It was pretty chlaustrophobic being in such a dark and confined space for so long. There were a few nerve-racking moments when Steph, who was in front of me, blocked out the faint light of the flashlight and it was pitch black. I would not want to be a VC rebel.