A fantastic seat on a sleeper bus!
I chose this photo, not so much because it was good, but so much because it feels like travel.
Granted, this is pretty comfortable travel. A sleeper bus rocketing through S.E. Asia is no bad way to go. And I'm pretty sure I got the best seat. There was a really cool Chinese girl behind me who liked to chat. John and Eric rode on the sleeper level above me, and I could open my window if I wanted. Traveling in comfort? I think so.
After Cambodia we bused into Vietnam, heading straight for the beach in Mui Ne. Mui Ne was absolutely delightful, I kind of felt myself slipping into a general beach lull, not helped by our seaside guesthouse and a very warm South China Sea. Unfortunately, John's camera and flash (with everything that was attached) was stolen out of his camera bag before we got to Mui Ne, and that has thrown a curve ball into our trip. It's still good though, and we've put it in God's hands and feel very relaxed about it. We're just grateful we're in good health, and that we even had the camera in the first place. In our life, we've seen that He always takes care of us, so there's no stress. In fact, this theft has lead to some rather interesting adventures. Such as - visiting the Vietnamese Police.
Nothing makes you appreciate the USA like the feeling that, in other countries, they just don't have your back like they do at home. The more I travel and learn, the more I see how blessed America really is, and how blessed I am to live there.
After several visits to the police, in two towns, they finally came to the conclusion that they couldn't help us. It wasn't that bad actually - it only took like half a day total. Which is nothing, and in fact, it was a bit comical. We never expected them to do much in the first place, but we tried just in case. The police report was going to come in handy for insurance reasons. When it all came to an end, I guess they couldn't help us because it happened on a bus, which is not their jurisdiction. They sent us to our embassy. This was exciting, because I totally wanted to go to an embassy.
So to the embassy we went, telling them what happened and seeing if they would be able to help. It reminded me every bit of a DMV. Only, you know, it was an embassy. Security and stuff. President Obama's picture on the wall, etc. The lady who helped us was really nice, and understood our situation. Her first advice was to tell the police that the theft happened at the market. And, to go to a different police station, because the other guys would know us. Haha, we were a little shocked that their first official advice to us was to falsify a police report. Our other option was to have the embassy stamp an affidavit for us, but it would cost more money. We left with the affidavit form in hand, joking about being told to just falsify the report. I guess that's how you get things done in Vietnam! We went back the next day and had it officially stamped. All in all it wasn't a bad experience, and actually easier than I would of expected. The embassy people were super nice, and the cops didn't give us much trouble. In fact, one of them was playing a game on a computer while John talked to him. Talk about... relaxed? Haha! We have our proof of theft and we're thankful. It's all good.
If you want John's more detailed and slightly comical spin on the situation (as well as a stream of his wonderful photos from our trip,) you can go check out his thread on dgrin: http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?p=1854967#post1854967
He's quite a good storyteller.
We're still having an awesome time, and due to fly to Bangkok and bus up to Chang Mai tomorrow. We love Vietnam, and I'd love to spend some more time in this country. What a history they have. We visited the war relics museum in Saigon today. It was moving, and educational. The people here are kind and it just has a good feeling. Even though it's a big city here in Ho Chi Minh (Also called Saigon. I didn't know that.) it's a big city with good vibes. We're enjoying it, even though John has lost a little travel umph since his camera got stolen. Understandable!