the temperature continues to be a sweltering 90 degrees with high humidity. my body is constantly slick with sweat. everyone tells me saigon is hotter. i guess i'll find out for myself tomorrow night when i get there. it's my last night in nha trang. today i took a boat tour to do some island hopping. i was hoping for some nice and relaxed naturing, but those things are so regimented, there was hardly any sightseeing, and the whole thing is essentially a romanticized booze cruise, which is right up my alley (not). it got the point where a very drunk belgian girl was singing karoake to her favorite american songs at the bow of the ship in her wet bikini, while all the vietnamese crew members were going around asking the single foreign ladies if they wanted a vietnamese boyfriend and if they could have a kiss.

i returned to my new hotel room, switched this morning. it's actually not as good as the japanese place i was staying, but it does have cable television, which is what i really need above all else. it's ironic, but the place where i thought i'd be watching the least amount of tv is actually the place where i've seen the most. my favorite is MTV, in all its incarnations, whether it's MTV asia (spanning all the way to the middle east), or MTV thailand, or MTV singapore, and i think i even saw MTV taiwan. you know you're in someplace hot because there are geckos crawling around everywhere, including my bathroom. i'm not used to something that big scurrying around where i live, but they're beneficial, and after i get over my initial fear, i learn to love them. hope they keep the mosquitoes away, although i haven't really seen too many since i've been in vietnam. i also returned to my old hotel to pay for the 2 cokes i drank but forgot to tell them. the owner seemed confused, but was very touched when he realized how honest i was to come back.

i had the most intense dinner experience since arriving in this country. there were things like iguana and ferret and salamander on the menu (and later i saw a large lizard in a cage out by the entrance), but i thought i'd go with something easy, a plate of squid, and a plate of rabbit. the rabbit ended up coming in a hot pot form. now i've had rabbit before, all diced and cubed and cut so you can't tell it was a rabbit. not the case tonight. i first fished out a piece that i could see was the ear, and then another bony piece that i realize was a cross-section of the jaw with little incissor teeth. the thing that turned my stomach was when i found half a rabbit skull, complete with brain. game over, vietnam you win. i spit out the bits and pieces of teeth and called it a evening, coming here to this internet cafe to check some e-mail before going back to the hotel for a hot shower and to lounge around with the air conditioner on. in southeast asia, that's how i relax.

floating bar



round boats

floating fish house

nha trang 30th liberation celebration