Cutie Blue Scootie & the Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny
Ahhh... my sweet little resort. So pretty... yet so incredibly odd. I woke up a few times in the night to turn off loud, annoying random and assorted devices throughout the room... only to be left lying there wondering what other random noises were outside... at least there is air conditioning... and a pool. So I will now stop with my pointless whining. Ok! First thing to start the day... breakfast. As I approached the buffet, I was handed a plate that contained 4 tiny pancakes and an egg. Let the praying begin;
Please be a normal hard boiled egg... please be a normal hard boiled egg...
I knew... if I cracked it open to find a little duck head with little duck wings and little duck feet, things would ultimately go sideways... real quick. The egg ended up normal. I sat down, all alone... in the empty cafe. Can't help but wonder where the infamous 'Germans' are that are presumable staying here as well. At the beach, my ass. I haven't seen ANY sign or activity of other hotel guests. I'm starting to believe that the person who gave this place a thumbs up & a glowing 5 star review was previously the winter caretaker of The Overlook Hotel. After breakfast, I went back to the room to get ready for my adventures! Who knows where the day would take me? No plans as of yet... Figured I would just get my pack together, plan my course of action, shower... put on my bathing suit... put my bathing suit on... put my bathing suit on.......?????
Um.... where are all my bathing suits?
Ok... lets figure this all out one more time...
Get my pack together, plan my course of action, shower... go through my entire contents of backpack calmly... go through the entire contents of my backpack frantically... thrown everything on to floor in full panic mode... stand there confused... cry....
Just kidding... I didn't cry.
Backtrack... bathing suits kept in small silky pink bag... did I leave it at home? Did I take it out at the hotel? Were they STOLEN?...probably... obviously, actually. People have been f'ing me over my entire life trying to get their hands on my stylish pool attire... Infuriating. I immediately sent a message to the hotel and they replied almost instantaneously;
Dear Ms. Joanna McBride, We found your silk bag in room 201 and still kept it at reception. If you still stay in HCM, you can take it back. Thank you. Trinh Ngo
I hate my life.
Seriously... has anyone ever met anyone as dumb as me?
3 days on a tropical island without a bathing suit. Then suddenly the real inconvenience of this materialized and I broke out in to a sweat. Once again, my shopping phobia (that I had previously conquered so successfully), returned FULL TILT. I was going to have to head out shopping again, and this time for a bathing suit.... in Phu Quoc - a tiny, remote island in Southeast Asia, Vietnam...
Then I cried...
Boo me... alright... get over it... no use beating myself up all morning. Time to head out in to the day with my sports bra and workout shorts. Figure those would make a half decent second should the opportunity to jump in the water present itself. I had only just walked about 20 metres and there it was right in front of me, my days adventure calling out to me.
I rented a MOPED... And get this...
ONLY 150,000 dong for the entire day. That's $9 Canadian.
They didn't care about my passport OR my credit card. All they wanted was my drivers license - and solely for collateral purposes. I found this odd, because wouldn't it be beneficial should anything happen, to HAVE my drivers license on my person? But... who am I to argue? If I were ME, dealing with ME and lending ME a motorized scooter, I would want my credit card, a cash deposit, my passport, the keys to my apartment and my name signed in blood.
They've obviously never met me or heard of me... Truthfully... the guy was not the slightest bit interested or even remotely prepared to spend more than 7 seconds with me & the bike... with a shrug of his shoulders and a flitter of his wrist, I was pretty much dismissed to hit the road... it was like sign, key, point, bye...
Sign. Key. Point. Bye...
Nope. Not having it.
Not comfortable quite yet...
Unfortunately, I'm going to need a little bit more information...
"How do I put the kick stand up?"
"How do I turn the key?""
"Can I have a map?"
"Where's the gas tank?"
He pointed at the gas tank which appeared to be close to empty and said "You go. Road. Gas."
He really didn't care.
As if I had to gas up right from the get-go... this was almost worse than potentially shopping for a bathing suit. And it wasn't even really a 'rental' shop, so to speak. It was a moped parked outside of a shop with a sign that more or less said 'rent me'... I inquired and 10 minutes later, some random guy with 4 teeth pulled up, took my license and handed me the keys. Very professional. Almost text book. As I 'skillfully and gracefully' pulled in to traffic, I was in full preparation to plummet to my death. The end was near and I could feel it.
It will probably be years before my family will ever get my drivers licence back.
I thought it was going to be that rickety little bridge at the resort that finally got me... or the incurable stomach problems, but I guess I was wrong.
Đừng giết tôi, làm ơn.
Đừng giết tôi, làm ơn.
Đừng giết tôi, làm ơn.
Don't kill me, please... like an irritating little ditty - the soundtrack of the day on repeat... playing over and over again in my head... Then something happened... I think I caught on.
Now don't get me wrong, there was a running commentary in both my head and coming out of my mouth the entire time, and onlookers must have thought me crazy... At one point, I even broke in to "The Leader of the Pack"... Vroom! Vroom!
As freaked out as I was on the road, I must admit that I felt a little bit bad ass, with the thunder between my legs. Rolling along, fixated on the road, clutching on to the handlebars (is that what they're called?), concentrating on absolutely everything that surrounded me because, to be honest, I wasn't really in the frame of mind to injure or kill a family of 5. But all joking aside, you really have to pay close attention because at any given moment, someone could decide to just change direction... or blindside you. Every moment is a potential head-on collision. At least now I know how Ren McCormack felt on that tractor... OUT of his element. Another rule of the scoot is that everyone beeps.
Coming up behind... beep!
Pulling over... beep!
Passing on the left... beep!
Passing on the right... beep! beep!
Turning here... beep!
Turning there... beep! beep!
Frontwards, backwards.. red light, green light... left, right... road, path, sidewalk... who cares??? Fuck it... just go!
Beep! Blind spot? Shoulder check? Meh... Beep! I was on the verge of bellowing out "Born to be Wild"... but I figured it would be wildlyinappropriate, considering that I had managed to get lost in town a few times. I'd like to blame it on the map that no one gave me... but I think it's more appropriate to say that I was a little hesitant (scared) to go around corners... so if there was a 'go straight' option, I naturally took it. I finally had to pull over, turn on my cell phone data and figure out how to get to where I thought maybe I might want to go. On a plus side though, I did master bumps. As bad ass as I felt at time, beeping my way through the town, the ingrained rules of Young Drivers of Canada still resonated... and unfortunately I had to follow these rules to a certain extent. So while everyone raced through the optional red lights, I sat there on my little cutie blue scootie, diligent... like a road nerd, and patiently awaited the green signal indicating that it was safe for me to drive on. The town that I am speaking about was befittingly named Dương Đông... like the ding dong that kept getting lost and finding herself on dead end dirt roads. It was a bizarre, busy, yet cute little town and I pulled over a couple times to take photos of the colourful fishing boats in the harbour. The one thing that did cause me a little bit of dismay was the parking situation. Was I allowed to park wherever I wanted? Because it appeared that everyone else did... Should I ask? Should I tip if I park in front of shops? Some people were so bold as to park so close to shop entrances that it made it near impossible to get in!! Is it OK to leave my helmet with the bike? These were all tips that the rental man should have given me! Lucky for me, I never left my cutie blue scootie alone for too long for anyone to tow it or steal from it.
I finally found the road I was supposed to be on and made my way out of Dương Đông and in to the lush jungle mountainous area in the middle of the island! And once out... there was hardly anyone on the road. Just ME! I had the entire road to myself. Who's the Unicorn now?
Who. Is. The. Unicorn. Now. Out on the highway, I became one with the cutie blue scootie. Couldn't help but think how fun it would be to find a little moped bikers bar... and I'd just mosey in for a drink and talk about how many clicks I'd done today, tell everyone about how I just learned to use the horn... and then I'd put my feet up & announce that there's nothing I love more than the open road...
I probably wouldn't have a drink though, because... as past experience has taught me...
**Insert law-abiding face here**
Rolling along on my steel horse, not a care in the world (except, obviously, the bathing suit shit), feeling like the Fonz of Phu Quoc... firing all of my guns at once and exploding in to space... and remembering Becky's advice, "If anyone steps out of the jungle with a machete, keep going." I was actually more worried about swallowing a butterfly...
Then reality set in...
Real quick too.
I was burning. Literally burning to a crisp... and I could feel it.
I didn't have one ounce of sun screen on me.
In fact, I didn't have any sun screen in my backpack at all. I had more bathing suits than sunscreen... and I had zero bathing suits.
I had been told on many travel sites to bring it, but I had disregarded the advice because I just figured I would buy some here when I arrived. How difficult could it be? Well... pretty difficult, as I was about to find out. Every place that I stopped along the way... Nothing. One place tried to sell me diaper rash cream.
No thank you, sir.
With each disappointing no, came more redness... and I was starting to worry.
Please God, help my skin and I promise to always adhere to all travel advisories from this day on in...
I was dying. I figured I would have to wait until I was back at the resort and then start making my way around to all the big, rich hotels because surely they would have to cater to the fat, white tourists they lured in! I desperately wanted to just get out of the sun and maybe even jump in the ocean to cool off, but for the life of me, I could not find a way to the beach off the main road. A lady I came upon on the road must of taken pity on me, as she pointed me down a long, narrow path towards the seaside. I am hesitant to use the word 'beach' because I was more impressed with the palm trees surrounding the area than I was with the seaside. A LOT of litter. I didn't stay long and got my motor runnin' again... I finally took refuge in a quiet and clean beach side resort. I sat there in the shade, took a bunch of selfies (the hardship of traveling alone), drank some sort of guava cocktail, ate salad rolls... all the while desperately trying to figure out exactly how long it would take me to get back to the hotel. The burning was getting to be too much now and I had nothing to cover myself up...
The remainder of the road home was like being in a BMX dirt bike race. I think they just started a bunch of construction and then thought, nah... let's just leave it. There were a few sketchy moments that I thought I was going to go face first in to the red mud. At least it would have matched my burn. And in regards to me and the cutie blue scootie... no word of a lie... I was literally 5 minutes from my resort before I figured out how to use the indicator signal. ... and now for the moment I'm sure that everyone has been waiting for... Did I get a bathing suit??? Unfortunately, yes, I did. The first shop I saw, I forced myself to pull over and head on in. All these half plastic mannequin bodies were hanging from the ceiling with teeny weeny bikinis adorning each one. I made my way through all of them and pointed at one that looked like it might attempt to cover up most of me and do the temporary trick. Of course, I'm just talking about the top- and thank GOD I'm not large in that department or I'd be double f$%ked... The lady working kept handing me assorted bottoms that she thought might fit, but they'd all be tight on a toothpick... let's not kid each other here. I grabbed the set that I originally pointed at and asked how much. 400,000...
Beat. It. I put it down and went to walk away. TOOOO much. She ran after me and immediately dropped the price to 200. So... I bought it.... as appalling as it is...
But I had to keep in mind, this purchase was not made to try & secure my position in the world of seaside fashion. I am not here to start a trend.
I figure that I've spoken enough about my constipation that I really should have no hesitation in throwing myself out there even further... even if that means all gussied up in an itsy bitsy teeny weeny... So here I am!
In all my glory... And believe me, if I make any sudden jerk movements, one of my boobs flops out the side. Very sexy. Modesty thrown out the window. I might be sucking in ever-so slightly... and the light coming from the window might be hiding a hideous roll... but I can't say for sure... Get this girl a crown!
Or a pole...
Or a corner...
Who's going to win a beautiful Vietnamese bathing suit when I get home??? Top fashion. Well made. Worn once.