No church bells ring on Easter Sunday in humid Ho Chi Minh City. Exactly a year ago, I wandered a similarly-sweaty Minneapolis, Minnesota. When planning this Asia trip, Greg insisted on a prudent buffer day before our international flight home in case of emergency or delayed connections, so we spend our last day of adventure back in Ho Chi Minh City.
We rebook our Hotel An An in Ho Chi Minh’s backpacker ghetto called Pham Ngo Lao. This time, we traipse the town like veterans. We hop the cheap bus from the airport to downtown, walk the narrow park to our hotel, and check in to our room.
Trouble is, we’re long overstimulated with newness and worn out from two weeks of travel. Instead of checking out sites, I want to play video games and sleep. From our sixth-floor window, we watch the evening cityscape. Across the street, a son hops on the apartment roof to fix the solar hot water tank so the sister can take a shower. Cats prowl tin roofs. A nun zooms by on a motorscooter.
For dinner, we walk back to a favorite lunch spot. I barely need a city map. Dinner is good but not as magical as two weeks ago, a theme for our last evening. Our advertised dj club has moved across the river. The neighboring indie bar has also changed hands. We drink two relatively expensive cocktails at Casbah featuring rooftop belly dancers, female and male, followed by another drink at Temple Underground, a chinoiserie fantasy like Miss Wong’s in Siem Reap.
I’m full up on passive entertainment. I miss my San Francisco friends, my apartment and my projects. We saunter home by 11am to lounge some more before bed. I get up with a shriek seeing bugs on the hotel writing desk, so we spend an hour debating bed bugs versus ants. Greg wins with ants, but we still slather ourselves in DEET before bed. Morning’s starkness declares certain antsiness, but oh so many.