April 2001

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April, 4     TOP

about monday 26th (still february) is not a lot to say, i did my stuff as usual (cleaning, reading, cooking), twan got a haircut or better a shave from shaun (looks not too bad) and yuya got really drunken. the first time i've seen him like this, falling asleep lying on two chairs in the kitchen. i offered him to take him to bed but he found his way on his own...

tuesday was more a sleepy day for me, falling asleep on the sofa while reading. but i also went to dover with yuya, had a nice chat with mary at the bookshop, got some of my photos and then we went shopping. but that night i had a wonderful argument with a2. the story was that i've been treated like furniture. one morning i was sitting outside, the two andrews came out of the office, i started to say "good morning" and was completely ignored. a short while later they came back and i gave it another try - nothing! then they came out of the office again "good mor...." and off they went, saying "good morning yuya". excuse me, but that's not fair. so when they came back i said nothing, just stared at them. a2 figured out that they were probably in trouble without knowing why. "i'm not furniture!!!!" anyway, they tried to be nice for a while. but then today a1 came into the kitchen having a look around the loungeroom, giving a comment about all the people reading, walked to the table, came back, looked at me (who was lying on the sofa just across) "have you been here all the time?" - bugger. so i took my chance to blame a2 for treating me like furniture, who tried to explain that it wasn't him till i told him it's just his bad influence. it was a wonderful argument i really enjoyed it.

next day it was raining, so nearly everyone stayed in the hostel. it was a quiet day but having the whole time people around without a break is a bit hard and stressy for me. so i went shopping and had to take the mad dutchies with me, which is alright but not really a break.

on thursday bas and twan left to go to the grand prix in melbourne (but they are booked in for dinner next week tuesday!), and a2 went to hobart. so i was asked to be in charge, which was great. i kicked everyone out of the hostel (canouing is great, there is a nice walk, it's such a good weather today....) and had nearly the whole day on my own. a bit cleaning, a bit cooking and a lot of reading, sitting in the sun and just enjoying to be left alone for a while. i love these days, when you're always together with heaps of people you really appreciate to be on your own for a while.

friday a2 was still in hobart and a1 just somewhere, you never know where he is, he just drives off or walks away and after a short while you figure out that you are in charge again, especially when the phone rings a bit to long and nobody tries to answer it. but who cares. so i had another quiet day, finished my book and started "jitterbug perfume" ("panaroma" in german) for the second time. shaun left to meet his parents in hobart who are going to stay here for a week.

saturday, wow, i couldn't believe, after nearly four weeks, i actually got it - the fishingnet!!!! so there's the chance to get a hammock, even all the material was together, great. so with a bit help from a2 (hey, sailor, how did you do this knot?) i actually got the first hammock and it is bloody comfy - it's just a bit hard to get out of it again and do something. shaun came back late afternoon with his parents pat and jack, wonderful people. and i had to get out of -my- hammock to cook some dinner.

sunday 4th march (i can't believe i really got to march and it's just april). i got up at 6.30am, took my book and a pillow, went outside and lay down in my hammock. when a1 came back from babysitting his comment was "i think we've got a problem to get you out of there!". nothing special happened that day, we had some flathead for lunch, mick brought me the other day and well, the rest of the day was as usual. i had asked for a day off on monday, but then yuya went for caving (there are too many good looking japanese girls in the world), so i stayed and helped toki with the cleaning. i will have my day off tomorrow, for sure!
and believe it or not i booked my flight from devonport to sydney, i will leave this island on the 28th (hopefully!). even a2 said he'll cancel the ticket... anyway, i went to dover to see mary and have a cup of tea and a look for some good books. funny, she's been talking with edward kelly about me (people start talking about you, that's a bit scary). at the end i sat in that bookshop and sang for mary, funny. but then isn't it great to have situations like this, that makes life special.
in the afternoon robert came back, he's been here before and went nearly for every single hike you can do in tassie.
anyway i had to go to bed early, because the next day is my day off (even no cooking) and i want to leave as early as i can.

i left next morning about 6.30am and drove down to cockle creek to go for the southcoast track to the rivulet. it's absolutely great to be that early, it's still cool, you see the sunrise and there's nobody else at that time of the day. the track is easy, but it's worth going, the surf at the beach was amazing. on the way back i met quite a lot of people, i think i just took the right time.
when i came back craig and a2 were sitting around, actually craig was lying in my hammock and i had to move him a bit -there is space for two people!- having a chat. then after a while they left and i was lying in my hammock with my book enjoying to have a day off till a1 came back. he has been taken a group of germans on a canoutrip and now they should have a barbie. well, nothing to do with that. "you're having your day off?" -yep- "you don't have anything to make a salad?" -probably- "you wouldn't fix a salad" -hm, okay, but it's my day off- "yeah, yeah, of course" "can you look after the barbie for a second?" of course, so much about a day off. but i got a barbiepack (my first one) with salad served by a1. anyway, but no cooking dinner!!!!

so i had a2 sitting there on one side, a1 on the other, a2 complaining that the cook was on strike, he wouldn't get anything to eat. "she's on strike" "seems so" "no dinner". anyway a1 then just said he had some lunch so he would be alright, not very helpful for a2 who didn't get a barbiepack for lunch. i just enjoyed myself, sitting there, listening to the complaints and giving some mean comments..... what a great day!

next day i had this stupid idea that i could clean the windows (they needed to be done, but why am i doing this?). it took me quit a while, but the result was not very impressive, well, you could look through them again, but you can do a better job. but who cares! afterwards i went to dover, got some rhubarb and made my first rhubarbcake with meringue on top, i'm getting better and better in these things. the best thing was that toki gave me a full bodymassage that day (afterwards i fell asleep for a few hours). twan and bas came back that day (one day late but they had called before to cancel the dinner on tuesday), brought me a german newspaper and we sat for hours in the office chatting while it was raining outside.

next day everyone had to move out of the hostel into the tipi or caravans or tents. a group of 20 japanese highschool students and teachers were booked in, including cave tour and pizzanight. so we put on each bed a sleepingbag (just newly arrived, better then blankets), chopped all the vegies for the pizzas and i made dough for 13 loafs of bread. these students were really nice and we sat up with them for quite a while, heather, a welsh girl who's on that jetscheme program in japan, told me i would be a cranky japanese teacher.

anyway, next day was the big cleaning day, stripping off every single bed, moving furniture out and give the hostel a big cleaning (my idea, i'm not sure if the others liked me for that, especially twan who had to roll up 20 sleeping bags ....). in the afternoon i prepared 4 apple crumble, because i wanted to go to hobart for the market. on saturday and saturday was also fullmoon feast, so try to prepare as much as you can before (don't have to chop the vegies!).

Mail from the same day, some hours later:

saturday, 10th march - fullmoonfeast! actually my first fullmoonfeast here in lune river, last time i've been seakayaking. anyway in he morning i went with andrew on the bus to hobart to do my shopping on salamanca market. it's much cheaper to get your vegetables there then anywhere else. so i came fully packed back to the transit center, left my stuff with liz and went for a cuppa. i actually bought me two cd's, i must be mad, i don't even have a cd player!! there were heaps of people coming back with us and naoki for the fourth time (i think i can call him boomerang now, he always comes back). back in lune river everyone was working on the preparation for the fullmoonfeast, vegies were chopped, the dutchies had started the fire in the oven and there were heaps of people around. i think we had about 40 pizzas that night, plus salad and trouts. it was really fun, fireshow, bongos (it would be nice if people can really play them, robert and i were thinking of taking them away), guitars... i got really drunk that night and the next day i was on strike. better to say i got up early, had a cuppa and thought it's better top go to bed again, what i did. sorry about that, but no way doing anything. i didn't have to cook that night either because toki and yuya were leaving the next day, so we went to the pub of course. robert left that day as well, looked a bit sad. it was nice to meet him. that evening i sold my car to naoki for $ 1400. so, that's done, even he won't get it before i leave and he has to take me up to devonport. while we were in the pub we figured out that toki and yuya are going on the overland track without having any gear. so i gave toki my jacket and my thermals, a2 gave her a backpack and the rest she has to organise in hobart. i wonder how they will go on with yuya falling asleep everywhere, hopefully she doesn't have to carry him.

the next morning yuya left on the bus, i felt so sorry for him sitting in the bus bursting into tears. he really didn't want to leave, but then he's meeting toki to go for the overland track. toki drove off with her bike around lunch and gave me her cd player, great. a2 moved the two dutchies in the woofer kennel - why is he doing this to me, now i have to share a room with them, and they drive me mad every single day. that day it was raining on and on and i made the mistake to cook leek, now twan is farting all the time.....

tuesday was a quiet day, nearly everyone had left the day before and there were just four new people. a2 went to hobart and i cooked a really big dinner that night. we ended up sitting up late around the fire and had a lot of fun that night - the dutchies are mad but great.

the next day i wanted to go to hartz mt with shaun, i went on my own because shaun was still to tired. but it was great, i went for a walk to the lake and the falls and had a good time on my own. afterwards i went for fish and chips, haven't had them for ages. it was a quiet day and night, even i thought i would go mad. i've been in pain in my left arm for the last three weeks and that day it started in the right arm as well. so i started to drink wine to kill the pain. after a while i couldn't stand it anymore and went into the office to talk to someone. so a2 and i had a serioes talk, then a1 came back and told me about dr deng and akkupuncture, i should give it a try. that night i sat up late with a1, had a very good talk with him.

when i got up the next morning a1 had already arranged an appointment with dr deng and took me up to hobart to go for it. wow, it's a bit strange to get needles in your body. anyway, he was explaining me what i can do (no bananas, no sugar, no spices but gingertea) and the most fascinating thing was - it worked. out of pain after three weeks you can't believe how that feels. now i know what i can do if i get in pain again (to get akkupuncture in asia should be not to bad). in the meantime a1 had picked up his win and we drove back to lune river. that day genevieve came back with god. i really like her, she's fun. i didn't do a lot the rest of the day.

on friday i made another hammock, much shorter and more likely a swing. my description was that the first hammock is the westnorther european style (very big) and this more the short asian style. i should make another one for the australians with a stubbyholder. naoki came back that day (he left on monday because he still had to pass his driving license). wow, he was happy, having his driving license and getting a car the end of the next week. i told him we can share till then.

on saturday the dutchies went to hobart so naoki and i did the cleaning. and then i had the best idea, why not move naoki in the woofer kennel and i move into the first caravan. the last days it was quiet and it didn't look like anyone would need the caravan in the next days. so i moved and had my own room for the first time after 4,5 months, great!!!!!
mick called that morning and asked me if i would like to come round the next day for fishing and dinner, so i had my first date! after all these complains i had to listen to the last time i didn't cook i cooked that day in advance, don't want to come back and see grumpy faces.

so on sunday i had a grand day out with mick. we went for a walk and then drove with the motorboat over to cygnet and afterwards tried to catch some fish for dinner. i never knew that you can catch octapus or squid with a fishing rod, but i caught both plus flathead. and he let me drive the boat for a while, i hope i didn't scare him to much, but it's great fun. i enjoyed that day a lot!!!!!!

oooh the next day was not my day, i was in a strange mood, tried to stay out of other peoples way, the day i'm leaving is coming nearer. i went to huonville to get my photos done and because there was some time and my trousers are falling apart in a short while i went to the oppshop and got a new pair plus a pillowcase to sew some more pockets on them. and then i did what i usually do when i'm in a really strange mood, went to a hairdresser and got my hair dyed bright red of course. in dover i stopped shortly at the bookshop and picked up two cartons of books i had orderd the week before for the hostel. when i came back i met janice, paul and devon walking back from the canouing, devon didn't recognise me in the first moment.

next morning a1 brought me a sewing machine and a few overalls and then a2 and i had a look through all the overalls. at the end i repaired 7 overalls and got three more pockets on my trousers. nothing spectacular happened that day. besides i thought i go mad. while i was cooking dinner nearly everyone was in the kitchen, music absolutly loud, people playing cards, talking very loud to hear themselves over the music.... my nerves were in a critical stage and i just served the dinner at the end just dropping the dessert in front of the two andrews and ran off to the caravan searching for my shorts. i thought either you go for a run and exhaust yourself or you start shouting. it seemed that the two andrews were wondering if they had done something to me so a1 came after me to ask. nothing to do with anyone, i just needed a break and a run. so i ran off and exhausted myself completly. afterwards i felt calmed down again. it's a good way to get out of stress.

on wednesday i drove with naoki to huonville to reregister the car on his name, get new tyres and so on. he was so happy, big smile on his face, his first own car. he cleaned the whole afternoon the car, funny to watch him.
for me the days are a bit strange now, nearly at the end of my time here, but we decided i'll be back in november and stay about half a year here again. looking forward to that.

the next morning i stayed out of the house because the dutchies went totally mad, bas dancing with the mob through the kitchen, coming out with it on his head to show us how he used to look like with long hair and so on. janice, a2 and i sat outside and could't stop laughing. at the end i said that when we all leave on saturday they will put up a sign no germans or dutch in this hostel. then someone came up to the hostel and two people got of the car "where are you from?" "netherlans" go-go-go no more dutchies. i nearly fell off the bench.
the rest of the day i spent in the kitchen preparing my farewell supper (a1 said the last supper - but i don't want to be crucified the next day). a2 told me he would bring janice to dover to go sailing. about half an hour later he called me telling he would go sailing as well, so i'm in charge plus cooking a four course dinner - great! and of course he didn't come back for dinner and mick called he couldn't make it. so i invited yina and mathew to come round and kregg. it was a great dinner: zucchini-herbal-cream soup, then roast lamb with baked potatoes, yorkshire pudding, vegies and a chees platter and sticky date pudding. just during the last course silvia rang me up. so i had a talk to her. we've been sitting up late in the kitchen, having a lot of fun.

on friday i felt like being in the wrong film, there was nothing really to do for me, leaving the next day, probably i should have left that day but then i would have missed a great night at the pub. we went there with about 13 people, had dinner and this time we stayed in the pub till 1 o'clock, usually we always left shortly after dinner. mick tried to rub my belly but that's my job. after a while i was wondering where twan was, i found him outside standing at the bus and cried, then bas came out and started crying, holding both and thought good that they cry then i don't start now.

next morning all of us went to hobart, the place will be different now, no mad dutchies, no cook.....
anyway, i left my stuff in the bus, bought my ticket to hobart, went to kathmandu for shopping, got a cd player and spent heaps of money. at two we all met at the transit centre again waiting for a1 and stuart to come back. they were a bit late... when they came i took my stuff out of the bus and then a1 told me he would come back later and bring me to devonport. so i spent the afternoon with the others in the backpacker and he came back about 6.30pm. a bit late to drive all the way to devonport so we drove to the great lake and stayed there over night.

next morning we went for a walk to the liffey falls and then drove off to devonport. strange to be back. everything has changed, heaps of fruitpickers, a few people i knew, but it was good to see rumiko again and denise of course even i met her late that afternoon. that night i sat up with denise for a while, drank quite a lot, then tim came in completly pissed, with a bad bronchitis and still drinking. when i told him that's time to go to bed he figured out he left his key in his room. so i fetched a blanket and gave him the other bed in my room - and i was so happy to have a room on my own.

next morning he was a bit embarrassed, but who cares. funny thing was i ended up in the office again to give denise some time to go shopping - and i said i'll pay for my room and don't do a thing. the rest of the day i spent on sorting things through but i had to give it up after a while, i've got one more day to do that. that night the japanese girls invited me for dinner and i gave one of my shorts to sanai. i didn't know that she was still waiting for her luggage, but so i did something useful.

on tuesday i got up at 6.30am because i wanted to ask rumiko something and locked myself out of my room. so i got myself a blanket, sat on one of the sofas and waited for trevor to get up. that day was filled with shopping, sorting things through, chats with meryce, packing my backpack....... it seems i'm really leaving tomorrow.
that night denise cooked dinner and i made the dessert. sanai gave me a beany which looked really funny, but i have to leave it here, it will be to warm for asia. i'll pick it up when i come back. denise and i made the plan to go together to lune river when i'm back to give her a few days off. that night i've been sitting up long with rumiko and naomi, won't see rumiko for a while, but perhaps we'll meet in thailand. i actually had to send them to bed.

so now i'm just a few days behind, but horst should be back by now, so i'll finish later on.

Mail from the same day, some hours later again:

okay, there we are, march 28th, the day i'm leaving tassie. the morning i've been hanging around in the office with jackson (good to see him again), meryce and trevor, actually trevor took me first to town because i had thee parcels to send away. and then i was just sitting there listening to meryce comments (hey sady, sady...) waiting for the airport bus. strange to leave now, but i don't cry!!!!!!
there was nothing special about the flights to melbourne and sydney, but in sydney i've been standing quite a while. at the end claire did find me. so we went to their (6 girls) flat. i was moved into a room with naomi. that night we went out to a thai restaurant after having a look at a van four of them probably want to buy. then one more beer and back. so i had a quite early night.

the next day i was a good tourist and went for my sightseeing trip. first i went to newtown to get some prints of my slides (costs a bloody fortune). from there to the fishmarket, then i walked to darling harbour, took one of the ferries and went to circular quay. only to find out that i forgot the filter for my camera and have to come back to take pictures of the opera house and the bridge. on the ferry i met pierre, the manager of one of these harbour cruises, and got a leaflet that says i just have to pay half the price (i'm good in these things). nicola (one of the girls) and i went out for a take away (fantastic cannelonis) and had a night in front of the tv(?!!), haven't had that for ages.

friday was a bit of a lazy day. brought my laundry away, cruised a bit around bondi, met claire at the cafe where she's working for a cuppa and stayed at bondi beach for the rest of the evening. went out for dinner, called my parents (something you have to do sometimes) and ended up in a pub with live music. at 11pm i met claire again at the cafe but she had still to work so we decided that we meet at that pub. at the end i don't really know what all happend the rest of the night, probably better that way.

next morning i woke up still totally pissed and remembered that i had to call horst to give him my flightno. oh, couldn't find my phonecard, felt not really good, got a new card and tried to say a few sensible words over the phone. afterwards i went to bed. about 12 o'clock i thought i should get up if i want to go for the harbour cruise and my laundry was still at that place as well. so i fetched my laundry, went then to circular qay and got on that boat just in time. but it was really good i did enjoy it (and i even didn't feel sick!).
that night i didn't go out, not if i have to get up early to catch my flight. claire wanted to come with me to the airport but there was no chance of waking her up, so i took my backpack, went to the station and it took ages to get to the airport. the flight was just another flight (films: charlies angels, unbreakable, meeting the parents) and i didn't write my diary (otherwise i wouldn't have to spend ages in the internet now). but i had my glas of whitewine for bas 19th birthday!!!! horst had arrived quite a while before me and was waiting outside (it's good that most asian people are a bit smaller otherwise i wouldn't have seen him). we changed some money, got into a taxi (that driver had been waiting with horst for me) and after a short discussion he brought us not to that expensive hotel he wanted to. that drive was a bit like a horrortrip, we tried not to look where he was driving. anyway we got into the city, found a nice hotel and got something to eat. then i had a short time in the internet (there are a few people doing strange things to my homepage) and went to bed.

next morning we went to a market because horst didn't have any long trousers (men!) and walked through the city. people who have never been in saigon can't imagine what the traffic is like in this city. there are 6 million people living here and every third person has got one of these small motorbikes and just drives. the way to cross a street is just walk don't even think of stopping or trying to do something logical, just walk and pray!

horst had heard something about boattrips on the saigon so we went down to the saigon and went for an hour with one of these small boats where you think i hope it won't break down. it was fun anyway, but afterwards i was very tired. this town is absolutely stressy and not really healthy. in the evening we went out for dinner and sat at the corner of one street, watching all this madness. for the next day we were booked in for a trip to the mekong delta. leaving at 8.15am with a bus to get to a place where we started our boattrip. the floating fishmarket was not very impressive, but changing into different boats, cruising along some creeks that was good. and even it was a bit like a "butterfahrt". it was not as annoying because the people just left you alone if you didn't want to buy anything. one place would have been a place for karsten - coconut candies, different varieties and you could try them (i didn't buy any, but they were nice). the trip was good even it will still take me quite a while to get used to this climate. i hope i don't melt away......
in the evening we walked a bit around, had something for dinner and sat in the same cafe like the two last nights for a few beer.

wow, i can't believe it, i'm up to date, it's april the 4th and there i am with my diary. the whole morning i spent in two different internetcafes (with a break of an hour) to write this diary. horst went on a trip to the cu chi tunnels (built by the vietcong) and came back about 2pm. then we spent the afternoon walking through different quartes on the way to the zoo and botanical garden. it was not what i expected but then we are in asia it's all a bit different. so about an hour ago we had the best dinner of the last days and now i'm sitting here and do know that we are leaving tomorrow, i couldn't stand this city any longer!

so next time you get really new news, even these were new news as well.
April, 8     TOP

as you all know, i've been in the internet for hours on wednesday. anyway, at about 2.30pm horst and i have met up again at our hotel. his tour must have been quite good. perhaps i'll do that myself when i'm back in saigon, i do have a few more days there then horst if i want.

next plan was to go to the botanical garden. hm hm hm, not really what i was expecting, it was more just a zoo with a few trees and flowers, nothing special (that means if you go to ho chi minh city just leave it out). but then we had the best dinner for the last days. it was a place just around the corner, but not one of these where all the tourists go to. afterwards we wanted to sit in this corner pub again like the nights before, but it was full outside. so we went to another cafe for a few beers and had a chat with one of these boys trying to sell lighters or whatever to tourists. he started of course with european soccer (that's absolutely famous here, when someone asks you where you're from and you say dortmund to 90% they reply "oh borussia!" and then we asked him a bit about his life and so. it was quite interesting but we still didn't buy a lighter.

the next morning (thursday, 5th april) we had to get up very early to catch our bus to da lat at 7.30am. bustrips are bloody tiresome, the tour took 7 hours with a lunchbreak and a few sightseeing stops (not that impressive) and i didn't feel very well that day (this heat kills me). about afternoontime we arrived in da lat, booked in a hotel and walked through the town and down to the lake. da lat is very different to saigon. not as huzzling and buzzling and not that hot and humid. we had dinner at the lake and then cruised a bit through the streets ended up in a bar with all the young vietnamese people and changed the place after a short while (i don't need videos all around me).

next morning horst rented a motorbike and went up to the north to the mountains (i don't sit on a motorbike!!!!). so i had the whole day for myself. i think the most vietnamese thought i'm from mars (even that can't be because women are from venus) because every offer for a lift on a motorbike i denied telling them i do have two healthy feet. anyway, i walked from the hotel to the centreto, get some money and then started my cruise (having a look on the map now, i think i was mad). i walked first to the crazy house because i've been told nearby should be a nice pagoda. i found the crazy house but not the pagoda. because i knew we would go to the crazy house next day i walked off to find thac cam ly (cam ly waterfall). i did find it and it was really funny. i love waterfalls and this one was not amazing but quite nice, but what they do with the surrounding.... vietnamese cowboys invite you for a horseride, souvenirs everywhere and what the vietnamese can do with concrete... kitsch as kitsch can! after these cowboys started annoying me i left to find my way to the railwaystation (don't ask me why). nice french building but no short trips going (who did tell me that?!) so no reason to stay longer. on the way up i had seen a huge stonebuilding (looked like the medieval houses for vendors). so i was a bit curious to find out what it was. i should learn vietnamese, i still don't know what it was. then i walked back to the lake and started to walk around it - why are lakes always much bigger then they seem???? but i wanted to see the da lat flowergarden (as the prospect says: dalat flower garden - dalat is renowned for its colorful flowers. dalat flower garden is a collection of various rare flower species in vietnam and those imported from europe.). the garden was pretty but why do they love their kitsch that much i'll never understand. anyway, had a break there and more water (sometimes i think i'm just melting away) and then i finished my walk around the lake. after not finding one pagoda i thought give it a try to find the other one you're interested in. again i got lost - i found it the next day (it was just to big so i had overseen it...).

that night we had dinner on the stairs in the centre at one of these streetplaces. actually we met two germans who were there with one of these tours from germany and he was a bit annoyed not to do the tour on his own (with 70), so he said he'll stay longer and let them go home.
before we went to bed we had a few beer (like every night - 3 beer and then off to bed) just across our hotel. i've been flirting with the owners daughter (3(?) years old) and a group of young men offered us a kind of sake (homebrand). the next morning we left on a guided tour with five others. our tourguide was fun and the tour itself had its highlights. first we went to a buddhist meditation monastery at the paradise lake. alright but nothing spectacular. the next stop was great although i would have prefered to wear my other shoes. we went to the lien khuong waterfalls and on the question if we would like to go closer we (horst, glenda and i) said of course. shit, he ment really closer, which meant a bit of climbing and i was always nearly slipping out of my sandals. but it was great, good view and i do love these things. horst went for a swim while we walked underneath a fall.

after that we went to chicken village - don't ask, they do have a concrete chicken in the middle of the village and there are stories about it. anyway, this was a place where you really could see that there are different minorities living in vietnam. the people there are very dark and do look different to the ones i've seen till now. in that village is a buddhist nun living making incense, so we had a look. it does look much easier then it is, but she makes about 6000 sticks a day (that is amazing!) the only thing about these visits of villages i'm not sure if i would like people walking through my frontgarden.

from there we went to prenn waterfall - the same like cam ly falls, only much bigger. before we went to the crazy house and bao dai's summerpalace we had lunch in dalat. crazy house is a piece of art and a hotel and not describable you just have to see it, i think either you hate it or you love it and i love it (even i wouldn't stay there, it's a bit to expensive). bao dai's summerpalace - nice residence, especially when you know that he had three palaces!

after that trip we needed a nap, sightseeing can make you really tired! that night we went to the market and down the streets (i can still walk without pain!) and ended up in the cafe just across the hotel for dinner. my food looked in the first moment interesting but it was really nice (brown, hardboiled eggs in fishsauce with porkpieces).

so today we had another long bustour from dalat to nha trang. three stops: one at the ngoan muc pass, if the weather is not as dizzy it must be an amazing view, still it was nice, another one at the cham tower in phan rang, very nice, want to see some more and a third stop for lunch.

now we are here and it is bloody hot and humid and i don't know if i like it. horst is gone for a swim (my time will be very early in the morning when i get up - still between 6.30 - 8.00am - i'm so sunburned after my walk in dalat!!!!!).

so up to date again - i'm getting better and now i'll have a look at the beach.
April, 12     TOP

so, nha trang, after finishing the last entry i went down to the beach for a walk. heaps of people but still nice. at 6pm horst and i wanted to meet again at the hotel. of course he was late because he got lost. some people can't survive without help. we went out for dinner and i felt so exhausted from the heat that i went to the hotel afterwards, just to figure out that when i try to turn on the aircon that the tv next door turns off. so no aircon just a fan. so you just sit on your bed reading and the sweat is running down your body. after a while someone knocked on my door - jenny, a woman we had met before on the tour in da lat. she had been talking to a few taxidrivers to get a good price for a sightseeing tour, but it was still to expensive for her and her husband on their own. so i went down with her to meet horst in a cafe and decide what to do.

next morning horst drove off with a motorbike (of course) and i went on this tour with jenny and her husband. the taxidriver couldn't speak any english - even that didn't matter because the two were vietnamese, living in sydney for the last 25 years. the first stop we made was at the long son pagoda, which is famous for an 18,5 m high buddha. we were followed by a group of kids (like most times) trying to sell us things. one of the girls spoke really good english and explained a lot to me, so at the end i bought some postcards of her for being a good tourguide. from there we drove to the po nagar cham tower (they were quite busy around here building their towers) and then to the chong rocks. in one of the rocks you can see a hand about 0,5m big and another rock has got a story. there was a fisherman going out on the sea and of course the tragedy was he never came back. so his wife has been standing at the shore waiting for him till she turned into a stone. we spent quite awhile there, having coconutmilk, sitting in the shade and just enjoy the scenery. afterwards we had to go to the market of course, where i bought a coffemaker (just the right size for the 1 or 2 coffees i drink in a week and different to the ones i've seen before). the funny thing is, you buy something and then everyone comes to sell you the exactly same thing again - i really do need only one...
the next place was a bit of a nepp, nobody told us that bao dai's villas are only open on saturdays and sunday, so we paid the entrance fee (2000 dong) and the only thing we could do was just walk around the house.
something i'll never understand is how easily people can get lost, jenny and her husband were walking in the complete wrong direction to get back to the taxi and there was not a lot you could do to go the wrong way????! the last point to go to was the oceanographic institute. it's not to bad but tourists have to pay double the price to get into it, that's not fair. the aquariums looked to me a bit like the tanks the restaurants have their fishes in but then everything is a bit different here.
back at the hotel i had a bit of a break, it was just too hot for me, but about 4pm i went down to the beach with my book (memoirs of a geisha - great book), went for a swim, came back and my sandals and the book were gone. they did leave me my t-shirt and the trousers (i don't think there is guarantee on tevas (manufacturer of sandals, karsten) when they get stolen). so i walked back to the hotel and asked the women at the reception if she knows a place to get cheap shoes. the first moment she just looked at me, then i showed her my feet and she told me she would take me to a place later on. the funny thing is, people at the beach have seen it, telling me afterwards, that someone came and drove of on a motorbike, well that's not helpful anymore.

anyway at 7pm tuyia took me on her motorbike (?!) down to a shop, i had about 7 minutes time to choose a pair of shoes then the whole power in the city went off. so i got my shoes in candlelight, but they are nice. from there we had to go to the policestation (not for my shoes), because she has to register every new guest every evening. on the way back she invited me to a fruitcocktail on the street. so we had a nice chat and i really enjoyed myself.
horst had been that day somewhere in the jungle (he looked like it although he said he cleaned himself in a creek).
that evening we went to a place called shorty's (not recommandable besides you want to sit with loud music mixed up with australian and british young people). anyway there we met alfred anton scholz (don't ask), born in sri lanka, used to live in london and is now living in hannoversch muenden. a bit strange guy, but then you do meet a lot of strange people when you're travelling.

for the next day we had booked an island tour. this is what the leaflet said: the island tour: price: $7 - itinerary: mun island (snorkeling equipment), mot island (lunch & enjoy floating minibar on the water), tam island (beach resort & sunbathing & fruit free), the fishing village (caged fish breeding & local villagers) inclusive of transport, lunch (sea food and fruit), snorkeling equipment.
it was exactly what i expected (and it's not really my thing), going for a swim, get drunk, listening to the beatles (they follow me everywhere).... but there were a few good things: the food was absolutly amazing, they just wouldn't stop putting things on the table (very nice squid) and it was yummie, i had a nice talk with one of the guys from the boat while everyone else was going for the floating bar (me in the water in the middle of the day, it would take me 5 minutes to be roasted), he told me about his family and all these things, then i got a really good massage(!!!) and the swimming was good, although i had a bit of a trouble with a jellyfish (my leg didn't look nice for a while), of course it was me!
that evening horst and i walked for a while along the beach and, well, i don't know why, but i'm always hungry, so i had to get something for dinner - wildpork! it was good sitting at the beach having a few drinks and a long talk.
that night i couldn't sleep, it was just too hot, so the next day i sent horst off (on the motorbike again) and thought of getting me a new book, have a drink at the beach, go for the internet..... well, what happened was, there was no power for the whole day, so no internet, then i went to this book exchange place and got "my" book back. best thing to do, sit in a cafe at the beach and read a bit............
i nearly finished the whole book during that day, i just moved from that cafe to the hotel, to avoid to get sunburned again. when horst came back i was still sitting there - reading!
we went then to a small restaurant (i had even forgotten to eat something during the day), got something to eat and then it was time to get to our busstop. we went on the nightbus to get to hoi an. 12 hours in a bus, i can't sleep well on buses, then we had a puncture in the middle of the night and then another stop about 3am and we actually got to hoi an about 8am this morning. god, i was exhausted, and this time the hotel they brought us to in the first place was not the place we wanted to stay. but we found something central (i just wonder why they didn't build the walls of the rooms up to the ceiling) even we had to wait a while because they had to clean the room first. so we went next door to a really nice restaurant for having breakfast. half the morning we spent in bed - i needed that sleep.
this afternoon we bought a ticket for the old part of the town and went sightseeing. it was fun and we've been into places we otherwise would have left out - "but we have to use this ticket up" as horst said. on the market i bought me another pair of sandals, the others are not as comfy as i thought (but still nice) and then i got someone to make me a green silkshirt (i think i'll spend some more money on clothing while i'm here - it's so cheap and they make it individual and the way you want to have it).

now i'm sitting here again, horst is trying to write postcards (i gave up after the first one) and i think i'm hungry again (the food here is just too good).
yummie yummie
April, 17     TOP

still thursday 12th april. after dinner (yummie as i said before) we strolled through the streets and i tried to swop my book and get a bit information about the trains. you can see all these signs saying book exchange, then you show your book and they still want 50000 dong of you for a used book! no way, so it took me quite a while to find a place where they don't rip you of. i still payed 20000 dong, but that price is better. about the train you can't get any information here, we have to wait till we're in hanoi. at the end we ended up in that cafe where we had breakfast for a few beer (it's called bobo cafe and it is really good).

the next morning we hired a motorbike and i actually went for a ride with horst (can't believe i've been doing that, but it is the cheapest way to get around). we went to the marble mountains, five mountains named after the five elements: kim son (mt of metal), moc son (mt of wood), thuy son (mt of water), hoa son (mt of fire) and tho son (mt of earth). in one of the mountains there are some caves used as temples for centuries and a pagoda. one of the caves was used through the vietnam war as a hospital and the vietcong had also a good view from there down to china beach where the americans went for a rest. watching the enemies having a swim! one of the caves was opened at the end and with a bit of a climb you could go up to the top of the montain. the view wasn't that good that day, just a bit to misty.
the complete nuisance were all these women trying to sell you something you really don't need. after a short while we were surrounded by heaps of them and you just try to stay calm and polite.
from there we drove of to danang - just another city. my stomach started to give me a bit of a trouble so i let horst having his lunch, i really didn't feel like it. coming back to hoi an we actually fell asleep for a while, this weather doesn't really keep me awake. later that afternoon we went down to the river for a walk and ended up in a restaurant for dinner. and of course we went back to the bobo cafe for the last beers. it's a good place and we started to have conversation with dung although he is deaf and dumb and with huong, a lovely woman, who's been working there for seven years.

next day my stomach got worse. so i stayed back, while horst of course hired a motorbike again. i did my shopping in different shops (silkboots, a pair of trousers, two skirts and a shirt to be picked up later) and had otherwise a bit of a rest. having a rest means finishing my book again, so i went back to that place to get a new one - he looked a bit astonished, but then it never takes me long to read a book, especially when i have the time to read.

that night we went out for dinner to a place on the street i had seen while i was shopping. fascinating to watch them doing the cooking! it was one of the best dinners i got in vietnam. we could have sit there longer, but the benches weren't that comfy. so i picked up some of my new clothings (the shirt took a bit longer because they had to redo a few things on it). the evening ended with writing some more postcards at the bobo cafe (where else?!)

on sunday (i think it was eastern but i'm not sure) we went to my son - on the motorbike (i think i can get used to that). my son is one of the biggets excavating places of the cham. it was built as a place worshipping the god, king bhadresvara, the origins of the cham kingdom. it was actually built from the 4th century up to the 13th. some places have been destroyed by the americans, some parts are just overgrown, but it's still a lot to see and quite impressive. from there we wanted to go back through the mountains. wow, what a drive. gravel roads in tasmania are highways compared to some of the roads we drove on. it took us ages. in some places the road was under construction, so it was abit a drive on and off the road. but we found our way, although some of the truckdrivers tried to sent us back. we're still not sure why. the best thing was a stop in the mountains shortly after the pass. we wanted to have a late lunch so horst asked for something to eat. the woman looked at us, grapped a chicken and showed it to us, yep, yep, alright... well, i wasn't expecting her to kill the chicken straight away, but we got the whole chicken boiled and afterwards chickensoup. it was abit of fishing around in that bowl because neither horst nor i wanted to have the feet!!! but it was tasty and then who cares (we left the feet in the bowl). on the way back to hoi an i thought my legs would fall off. sitting for hours on that motorbike on these roads.

back in hoi an i picked up my new shoes and the trousers and we had our last night at the cafe.

after breakfast and saying good bye to the people at the cafe we went on our next bustrip to hue. the first stop at marble mt for 45 min (not again!). this time we went to the beach, followd by a lot of children begging and trying to sell things and trying to get my bracelet. the next stop was on the hai van pass, not alot to see, misty again and then a stop at long co beach for lunch. that dayu was hell for me. my stomach was getting even wors so i was getting very grumpy and poor horst had to deal with it. we nearly got into trouble with each other while walking through hue. the market nearly killed me with all these smells and you just think, don't throw up. horst wanted to go on a ferry crossing the perfume river, but we had to figure out that they just wanted to rip us of, so we walked away. it is different here to all the other places we have been to, whereever you go you have to look out not to be ripped off. when horst had dinner (not me) they tried to charge him 45000 dong for a soup and three lemon juices. we had seen the prices on the menu so figured out it would be 25000 altogether. okay, but therefore that guy charged him 5000 dong for the napkin...

i have to finish now, the cafe closes, rest later.

at the cafe we had a talk to a guy from somewhere near wagga wagga, well i had more of the conversation then horst but i translated inbetween.
April, 24     TOP

tuesday, april 17th
what a horrible day, although it started quite okay. after breakfast horst and i went to the military museum to see the exhibition about the war, it was interesting but we were there a bit late so they closed for a lunchbreak before we could finish the whole exhibition. afterwards we tried to see dai noi, the imperial enclosure, but because of horst's way of dressing there was no way to get into it. at the end that was alright because just that moment my body decided to make me feel like hell. so i rushed back to the hotel and stayed in bed nearly the whole rest of the day (how sick can someone feel?). the first time that i took medicine, but it helped and having a rest was not to bad as well. i was even able to eat something for dinner afterwards!

the next morning horst went off on the motorbike and i stayed in hue, trying to treat me nice. about lunchtime i felt good enough to go for a walk. so i went back to dai noi, without horst i get into every building being dressed up good enough. so i spent a good time in the imperial city. a lot of buildings were destroyed through the wars but it's still an impressive site and they are restoring a lot of buildings at the moment. actually that day was my lucky day. there was a hat tuong (classical vietnamese theatre) presented and just out of curiosity i took a seat. you don't understand a thing without any explanation, but there was this nice young man who watched me for a few minutes and then took a seat next to me and started to translate the whole play for me and giving me explanations about the characters and all these things. chuong, my translator, was a student of classical theatre and vietnamese culture and keen on giving me introductions to vietnamese theatre and culture. at the end he gave me his adress, telling me if i'll come back to vietnam and hue he would like to show me more about the cultural sites etc. i haven't had a nice chat like this with anyone before. even horst goes for adventures all the time, i enjoy moments like these much more.

afterwards i went for a walk through the citadel, but felt quite exhausted after a while and gave me a break for the rest of the afternoon. the evening ended as usual, going out for dinner, having a few drinks and then go to bed.

on thursday i felt much better and joined horst on a motorbike tour. i told him to take me somewhere without telling me where we were going to. we ended up on a temple, pagoda and tomb tour (horst? everything okay with you?).

the first stop was the thien-mu-pagoda. it is mostly known for the buddhist monk who burned himself to death in saigon because of the repression on the buddhists (1963). in one part of the building you can see the car that brought him to saigon.

then we drove along the perfume river, stopped at the remainings of the literature temple and went on as far as we could along the river. horst had been around there before and as far as we got to a wall he said he has been wondering what this long wall was standing for. it was actually the minh mang tomb, it's not just a grave it's a huge park. the tomb itself was a big hill ment to be the sun surrounded by a lake in shape of the half moon.

from there we drove to the river, had some lemonjuice (you can get addicted to that, as long as it is without sugar) and then took a ferry to cross the perfume river. we drove a bit more around and stopped at a few more sides but the entrance fee was to high so we decided not to go inside. horst climbed up to a hinduplace but i stayed behind, felt a bit dizzy. back in hue we cruised around the citadel, then horst brought me back and went for a drive on his own.

that night we went on the night bus to hanoi, 18 hours on a bus, i can't tell you how uncomfy that is. i can't really sleep on these buses and i'm glad that's the last long trip on a bus for a while.

about midday we arrived in hanoi. after booking in in the hotel we had something for lunch and afterwards a fell asleep for a few hours, while horst went for a walk. that day i booked our train tickets to go back to ho chi minh city (not on a bus again, i want a bed, especially when the trip takes 34 hours) and a tour to halong bay for sunday.

before dinner we went for a walk around the .... lake (can't remember the name at the moment) (hoan kiem lake, karsten). the story about the lake is that after king le loi triumphed over the ming invaders he gave the magical golden sword back to a giant turtle that lived in that lake.

that night we had a chat with our waiter, mang kiu (i'm not sure if it's spelled right), about living in vietnam. he's earning 7000 dong (about 50 cents) working in that cafe and is a student of economy here in hanoi. he said for the price we pay for one night in our hotel he can live 12 days in his place. his options to get a job after university are not good because he doesn't have any money, good jobs are only given to people who do have money, that's redicoulus, but it's the way it works in vietnam. his family is so poor that, when his parents are ill, they can't afford a doctor or medicine. so in a way he's fortunate to be able to study but then his chances for getting a job are not good at all, what kind of a system is that?!

on saturday we hired a motorbike, this city is just to big to walk around to see interesting places. the first place to go to was the historical museum. a quite good exhibition about vietnams history. afterwards we went over the red river to see a bit of the outskirts and then cruised around the great lake, went along the ho chi minh mausoleum (we didn't go inside) and stopped at the ho chi minh museum - a must if you come to hanoi. this is one of the best museums i've ever seen. it doesn't only give you information about ho chi minh and the revolution, it's also itself a piece of art. they try to give you impressions about his life and things that had an influence on him. and the way they do it is with collages and installations, it's great, worth going. we actually spent 2,5 hours in it. from there we went to the literature temple. it used to be a place for studying, said to be the first university. what you do see in every literature temple are stelas placed on huge turtles which give the names of the students who passed the exams and some more informations. on the way back from the temple i got a panic attack on the motorbike. rushhour started and i saw just these heaps of bikes coming from everywhere, getting to close and the only thing for me was to get of the bike as fast as possible. perhaps it's different when you drive yourself, but sitting on the back without the chance of doing anything - just get me off that bloody bike! so horst brought me back to the hotel and i felt really shaken for a quite long time. not sure if i'll get on a bike again...

for that night we had tickets for the thang long water puppet theatre. it was invented in the 11th century and there are a few theatre groups who keep this tradition alive. everything is played in the water and i would love to have a look at the backstage to see how they really handle the puppets. i enjoyed it a lot and i must say the vietnamese do have a nice sense of humor.

for sunday we had booked in for an overnight trip to halong bay, so we had to get up at 6am to get breakfast and then went on the bus (again) to bai chay where we were booked in a hotel and got our lunch (very good). then we went on a boattrip around halong bay. it's very famous for it's heaps of little islands. it's said to be a dragons tail about 1000 km long up to the chinese border and it does look like it. we went to two caves (thien cung and dau go) and a flaoting village where we changed into a small boat to drive through two smaller caves. i think that was the youngest boatdriver i've ever had. on the trip we met two nice french men and two american women and had a lot of fun with them. the two americans were very typical american travellers and so i was joking with them about the american way of travelling ("i've seen whole europe in one week!").

after dinner we took a walk along the beach and got our most expensive and our cheapest beer in whole vietnam (14000 and 3000 dong) and were listening to some vietnamese singing karaoke (asian people are a bit mad about their karaoke).

the next morning we had to get up at 6am again for our breakfast and then went on another boattrip to sungsot cave. the first day with not such a good weather as usual and so we had to miss our swim. after lunch we went back to hanoi, i had a little nap and tried to use the internet which didn't work propper, so i had to give it up. then we went out for dinner (i would like to know when i'll cook again myself). the night was horrible, i felt sick, my stomach made troubles and i got a headache, so half the night i spent walking around trying to feel better. now i feel a bit better, horst is gone on a motorbike trip and i'm sitting here finishing my diary for now and tonight we'll get on the train to ho chi minh city (hopefully i can sleep on the train and my stomach doesn't give me any troubles anymore). thursday we should be in ho chi minh city and on friday horst is flying back home. then i'll be on my own again.

anyway, i'll catch up in a few days either from ho chi minh city or from cambodia.
April, 29     TOP

april, 24th, the night we catched the train! you wouldn't believe how many people do fit in a sleepingcompartment with six beds. while getting into it, there was a whole family of about ten people plus me in there. the thing is you never know if they don't stay all at the end. but we had just four more people and not the entire family coming with us.
to make a long trip short (32h), we started at 9pm that night and arrived on friday 26th, at 5am in ho chi minh city. during the trip we got three meals served and because we weren't sure about that both of us had bought a few things to eat. so the time was filled with eating, reading chatting and having fun with two cute little girls from the compartment next door. one of them was singing and dancing for me the songs she had learned at school or kindergarten. so it was not boring and much more comfy then travelling in a bus (i've never been in a sleeping compartment before).

when we got out of the train sunrise just started. we sat outside the station for awhile, having tea and coffee. then we took a taxi back to the centre and waited in front of our hotel for about an hour, having more tea and coffee, till they opened at 7am. one of the women working there saw us sitting across the street and came up to us "oh, you're back, why didn't you ring..." and gave us the same room we had before.

til then everything was quite alright. but after we went for breakfast i got a headache, i thought i'll die. so nothing for me to do then relax, taking painkillers, sending horst off to do something nice and leave me alone. i think that day i took about 14 painkillers and in the evening i went out with horst (we met adai again, the guy with the lighters we had a chat with 3 weeks ago) and drank three wodkas.

when i woke up next morning it felt alright for a shorty term, then the headache came back, great, our last day and i feel bad. so i sent horst away again. during the day it got better and i didn't take that many painkillers again (only 4). horst came back about 3pm and i thought we could do something nice together before he had to fly back home. of course something had to happen. air france had forgotten to book him on the flight, so when one of our girls from the reception tried to reconfirm his flight, she was told that there was no booking for him. so she gave him the phonenumber of air france. great, i can get really nasty if people try to get rid of me on the phone. anyway i had to send them a fax with his tickets to make sure i'm not talking nonsens and then call back. still they told me that there's no seat available before the 4th of may. you wouldn't believe how persistent i can be (no, the most of you know), eventually she found a seat on exactly the same flight from ho ch minh city to paris he was booked in for. but then we had to get to the airport straight away to reconfirm this new booking personally, then come back, pack his backpack and then it was just time for him to get one of his loved breads, hop in the taxi and go back to the airport. by the end we didn't really have time to say good bye to each other... anyway with all this huzzle and buzzle my headache forgot its existence. so that night i went out on my own (shopping! got two cd's and a jadebracelet (horst, i just paid 20000 dong!)), had a few lemonjuice, no wodka, and went to bed early.

saturday i had to get up at 6am, to be in time for my bus to cambodia and fetching my passport as well. the passport was still not back, but they told me we would make a stop at the embassy and pick it up from there, what worked out fine. it took about two hours to get to the boarder, 4 customers to get out of vietnam (checking and doublechecking!) a walk about 100 m to get to the cambodian boarder and filling in two leaflets to get the stamps in my passport and then i was in cambodia. i must say, if you do have spare money, take the flight, the first 3h on the bus in cambodia were a catastrophy. the roads in vietnam are bad, but they are nothing compared to cambodia (sometimes we were driving off road because that condition was better then the road itself). anyway at about 6pm we arrived phnom penh and toby (a guy from camebridge i've met on the bus) and i went on asearch for a room. most places had only one single room free or where in so bad conditions that i didn't really want to stay there. at the end we went to different places. mine looks a bit like being in jail with a toilet and shower (no sink) and everytime you use the toilet you've to be careful not to hit you head in the doorway (i did it twice till now). that night i went out for dinner and i think i forgot to put down that sign on my head - socialworker at work - because after about 15 minutes tony asked me about getting a flight to somewhere.... anyway tony told me the sad story about the last months and years of his life till someone else sat next to us getting involved in the conversation and then tony left and a while later i could escape. (tony is a 54 year old philipino, living in thailand, working as a barmusician, who doesn't have enough money to get to malaysia to meet a friend....).

about today i'll write tomorrow because as it seems i can only write here in phnom penh and otherwise there is to little to write. perhaps in seam reap i can also use the internet but not in any other place in cambodia, but we will see and tuesday i'll leave to somewhere (haven't decided till now).
April, 30     TOP

sunday morning after breakfast i went on my exploring trip through phnom penh. and it's the same here like in vietnam. nobody can understand when you prefer to walk. anyway the first destination was the central market (there are heaps of markets in this city, this especially famous for clothing and jewlery) and from there to wat phnom. little story about this wat: the legend says that the first pagoda was erected on that 27m high knoll in 1373. it was built to house four buddha statues deposited here by the water of the mekong and discovered by a woman named penh (thus the name phnom penh, the hill of penh). anyway it's nice and i walked a while around that pagoda. next to it are a lot of street stalls, some selling food and the others occupied by fortunetellers, a bit of a shame that i don't understand that language, otherwise i probably could have get my palmreading confirmed.

from there i walked along the tonle sap river down to the national museum which was of course closed for lunch. so i decided to give myself a break, walk back and have something for lunch and come back later.

getting back i met tony again, still bored. so we had a chat and when i told him i would leave to have a look round he decided to come with me (i call him my shadow). so we went to the o'russey market which is just next to the place i live because there was still some time till the museum opened. the only thing i thought when we got to the museum was, why is he coming with me when he can't afford the entrance fee. but he waited outside. anyway the museum is mainly based on sculptures of different gods and goddesses built during the centuries. but still it was quite interesting, some legends were written down, so you could imagine a bit more about these statues. while i was in the museum a heavy rain started, i wasn't sure if tony would still be outside, but he had found a shelter so he was still there. i think he was a bit annoyed because i wanted to have a look at the silverpagoda and they charge entrancefee for that as well. so that time he left me - well i didn't ask him to come with me! the silverpagoda is part of the royal palace so you can also have a look around the ceremonial places. heaps of gold!

the silverpagoda is officially known as the temple of the emerald buddha due to the fact the main image housed inside is made of emerald. it's called silverpagoda because of the silver floor. the floor is completly covered with 5329 silver tiles, each tile weighing 1.125kg. inside the temple are 1650 artefacts, most being buddhist statues, made of a variety of materials such as gold, silver and bronze, into which diamonds, sapphires, rubies and other precious stones are inlaid. it's pure luxury!
anyway, even it was still raining but not as heavy anymore i walked back cruising around small streets to get a bit of an impression of the town. coming back i had a very early dinner and felt asleep afterwards for 2,5 h. later i went out for a drink and met serena, who's staying in the same hotel. she's probably going to sihanouk ville on tuesday (as i'm doing) and we ended up sitting on the balcony of the hotel with two guys who arrived together with her.

this morning i woke up early as usual, had my breakfast (without tony) and went to see the tuol sleng museum. it's the former khmer rouge s-21 prison. i've spent quite a long time in there and in a way i was reminded of pictures i've seen from the kz's in germany.
i just write down the regulations of it:
  1. you must answer accordingly to my queations. do not turn them away.
  2. do not try to hide the facts by making pretexts of this and that. you are strictly prohibited to contest me.
  3. do not be fool for you are a chap who dares to thwart revolution.
  4. you must immediately answer my questions without wasting time to reflect.
  5. do not tell me either about your immoralities or the revolution.
  6. while getting lashes or electrifications you must not cry at all.
  7. do nothing. sit still and wait for my orders. if there is no order, keep quiet. when i ask you to do something, you must do it right away without protesting.
  8. do not make pretexts about kampuchea krom in order to hide your jaw of traitor.
  9. if you do not follow all the above rules, you shall get many lashes of electric wire.
  10. if you disobey any point of my regulations you shall get either ten lashes or five shocks of electric discharge.
i always feel disturbed after being in places like that, so i just started walking without making up my mind where to go. at the end i nearly got lost in a part of phnom penh our tourguide had told us not to go. but anyway, i felt safe, just smiled a lot at the people and walked on for hours... the thing is on my map where steets which didn't exist. an old woman had a look on my map and just shaked her head and showed me another way to go. but i'm glad, i landed there, no motorcycle drivers asking you permanently if you don't want a motorbike, and even in the poorest areas no beggars, i think they were just too astonished to see a tourist in their quarter, so they forgot to ask for money. when i got back to my hotel i needed a rest and ran into tony. he's always somewhere around. but i excused myself after a short while and went to my room to read a bit. i think my feet just needed a rest.

so i had some dinner later on, a chat with two german guys and now my last report is finished. tomorrow starts a new adventure, i'll write about when i'm back here.
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