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Steven Telck’s trike adventure continues! Read all about it …

Missive #6

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Cell phones seem to die an early death in Vietnam and Asia in general. Unlike Wyoming which is dry as a bone it is not here dry as a bone.  When I went to a repair shop  to deal with a technician who was trying to set up the APN files on my phone I noticed they had three plexiglass boxes with vacuum pumps on top and heating pads inside.  When your phone finally gives up the ghost due to humidity you take it down to the shop where they set it on a heating pad inside of a box and turn a vacuum pump on to suck all the moisture out of it. Similar to the old dry rice trick to remove moister from electronics, but who can find dry rice in Vietnam.

Any one who tells you this is the dry season in Vietnam is a bold face liar or so badly informed he or she should be a weather person.

Our communication has I improved after finding the online any language translator. It does require a data connection but that is dirt cheap in Vietnam so we all have it now. Just heard my air horn go off again. Might need to fire up the translator and find out how to say “please keep your hands off the air horn” as it is keeping me awake. I don’t think they understand how hard it is to pump up the air tank with a dinky travel pump. I guess the easiest solution is  just remove it every night and take it to our room. Some people just think they have the right to touch even if it doesn’t belong to them.

Glad I don’t have the Jack hammer man’s job. Would not enjoy standing in the sun all day long chipping away at a large rock until it was a small rock. No dust mask, no visible hearing protection and working in a pair of flip flops. Never complain about your job  until you have walked a mile in this man’s flip flops.

Coffee Phin is a coarse grind of drip style coffee maker. The  cheap filters  are made of aluminum. I want to find one of stainless. These drip coffee makers make very good coffee, but they are not for those in a hurry as they are very slow.

Found my third cat in Vietnam and he was a cutie. Conned me out of two large shrimp at the restaurant. Even had to peel them as he couldn’t get past the scales. Waitress tried to scare him off, but I told her let it be. Little bugger didn’t even say thanks, just swayed butt. Oh well good karma for me.

When you look at the video of the man pulling a pipe one only wonders why the mud in the field needs to be so smooth. Looks to be very hard work slogging through the mud pulling the smoothing device.

Last stop for coffee we had a waiter in a hammock. He was perched up in this hammock watching TV. If customers wanted anything he would pop out of the hammock to serve and then back he went. Now I don’t know about others but getting into a hammock for me is an injury risking endevor. I can only think of falling from that height and fracturing my old melon.

At a gas station I saw this man filling large blue bottles which are generally only used for drinking water from a public hose. I was wondering if he was the local “Sparklets Man”. Sure hope this water will be for cooking and not for drinking.

Decided to take a road in the country for some sight seeing. On our maps it appeared to be a connecting road to a main road. First thing we noticed was it was not paved but didn’t seem to bad. Next we started to see some ruts in the red mud, still not too bad. Next we started to see ruts so deep you could see where a tractor had been called  to remove what ever truck had been sucked down into any given spot. By zigging and zigging my way around these muddy quagmires I was able to make it down the road, but my side bag and the bottoms of my panniers were caked with a thick red chocolate brown mud. Kept looking for Roger until his flashing light told me he was walking this stretch of road. I was politely told we should avoid this type of road in the future. Paved roads are often nrougher than dried corn cobbs in many places, with holes deep enough to bottom out some cars, but at least the mud is minimal on most. Vietnam seems to have a regulation about heavy trucks on AH1. When they come from rural roads they must be washed before traveling down the road. One sees washing stations everywhere. They are blasting off heavy mud with high pressure hoses along side of the road.

The duck farms seem like a scene from a Hitchcock movie by my thinking. They do make a bunch of noise. Well, still alive and healthy, and dodging trucks and motorcycles.



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