While you all are freezing...... travel blog

We got to the Laos-Vietnam border at around 9:30 am. It was quite a process going through the check point. Four officials passed our passports back and forth and back again for about 20 minutes before anything got stamped. Despite the goodwill gesture of money we tucked into our passports, it still took a while. When we were all through we climbed into another bus for our 10 hour ride to Ninh Binh. The drive intitially strated out with us driving down mountains; twisty and turvey nightmare, not good to those with motion sickness (me, thank God for dramamine). But the true nightmare began when we hit straight and flat. Will someone please look up whether or not you need to have a drivers liscense here in Vietnam and what is the pedestrian fatality rate, thank you. I have never in my life seen such haphazard driving like this anywhere, not in Delhi, Bangkok, Minneapolis. Constant honking, if a car or a bike or a water buffalo is in your way?, simply go around it into on-coming traffic lane, even when on coming traffic is coming. "Holy Shit" and white knuckles were my responses for the 10 hours. Okay, I need to hurry up there is a line waiting for this computer. So, this afternoon we asked our non-english speaking driver where to go for lunch (all in sign language). He dropped us off at a place packed with locals and everything in Vietnamese. All 13 of us trapsed in and were promptly seating without a clue what to eat or how to ask for it. Even with all of my "knowledge" about Vietnamese food, I was at a total loss. They just started bringing us food and we ate it. Truly delicious. It was obvious that tourist did not frequent this town too much because quite soon we had a large audience. We are now in Ninh Binh. A nothing town but it has 1 ATM, comfortable beds, hot water and MTV. Okay, that's it. Over and out.

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