A Travellerspoint blog

Same same only different Hug a tree

A kitchen party and who are these young peopleI

all seasons in one day 5 °C
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I'm always surprised at how comfortable groups of people can be when they are with their 'own kind'. I don't mean this in any bad way. People tend to gather with others who share similar interests and objectives. Sometime that can be quite narrow. I was at my second 'ktchen' part in Kimberly. My son's friends and friends of friends. These interesting well educated young thirty types are an encouraging prospect for the future. This whole town of Kimberly BC should have died when the main employer 'THE MINE" played out. But here they are encouraging tourism, using the giant mountains that loom over the valley. Of course for tourism you need tourist;s; rich people from somewhere else who want to come and play. Kimberly's got that. Hills and dales streams lakes, pushy deer and more civilised Elk, and bears be polite to bears. What Kimberly has that I really haven't seen anywhere else is this pervasive tree hugging thing. If you go to the market you'd better have your reusable shopping bag. Every back porch is filled with the hope of potted seedlings for a bountiful harvest. I'm helping Schaun with his garden. Mostly picking the seventy percent of rocks from the one inch of soil. If the rest of Canada, especially my Ontario, acted like this we wouldn't have to join with anybody to reduce our carbon footprint on the way to saving the planet. They would just have to catch up. P

Posted by patgoodeve 15:56 Archived in Canada Tagged foot Comments (0)

Back in Canada eh?

You know you're home when the baggage handler suggests a relax and have a beer

sunny 12 °C
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My first surprise on Canadian soil was the security, very extensive. A young girl asked me questions in an accentt so thick I wasn't sure I was home yet. The baggage handler was a different story, "Where ya coming from?" "Vietnam", said I. "Oh, you'll be glad to get home and have a beer eh?" The familiar EH? from Newfie to BC, can't miss it. The Aussies I traveled with in Vietnam mentioned my using it. Does another country have a comparable, familiar expression of companionship? I can't recall.
My second surprise were the deer. Big healthy and numerous Elk lining the side of the highway, deer in the streets. I do mean the streets. On the way home from the beer store, I took the baggage guy's advice. There were deer in the street, on the sidewalk. They are not polite deer. No respectful stepping aside, just a damn uppity glare and tail wag. In South East Asia; if a deer gives you any lip, he's in the pot, period. Actually I never saw any animal that wasn't a pet or live stock there. I take that back there were the snakes, but they were pickled in booze. Canada eh? the land where food just walks around.
I was driving the Delica back from College of the Rockies. I needed a fishing fix. I have missed 'opener' on the Great lakes. A tackle shop on the highway filled the need. I walked in, mentioned that I'm a; float fishing, steel header from the Lakes. Tthe owner lit up. We talked fishing for the next forty minutes. It turns out he minor rivers are protected for the cutthroat trout spawning. The Kananaskis is open and you pretty well fish it just the same as the rivers back home, almost. I wanted to shout 'same same only different'. Now here is a guy my Ontario fishing buddy Frank could spent a Thunder Bay winter with and never run out of topic to chat about.
I might just have to buy rod and fly reel. Anyone need an imitation Armani wallet.

Posted by patgoodeve 08:00 Archived in Canada Tagged events Comments (0)

Doing Thursday twice

Crossing the date line

all seasons in one day -50 °C
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Magically I did Thursday twice. I spent twelve hours in Saigon waiting for my flight which left five minutes to midnight the start of Thursday. I then had a six hour flight to Tokyo, spent twelve hours on a three seat bed listening to a two hour loop of CNN; dozing to the troubles of the world. Then a thirteen hour flight to Vancouver with a six hour wait, by now I'm an expert on lying on the floor, and sleeping on my napsack. Then a two hour flight to Cranbrook over the Rockies. Then My son is driving me home to Kimberly and it's Thursday at eight. Still Thursday.
Better than losing a day I guess.
Twelve hours sitting beside the Japanese version of 'Typhoid Mary' backed up by three squalling infants is enough to makes you wish you were catatonic. Typhoid san finally put a mask on after having to wipe down the TV screen a couple of times. The kiddies were actually quiet for three or four seconds. There just wasn't enough beer. The departure lounges turned out to be rest periods between the cramped, virus ridden flights. The most unusual bit of flying was in a good old Dash 8 from Vancouver to Canbrook. A high wing, twin engine, prop plane holding thirty people in economy comfort. Except. Except for when you have a really big big person who has rented a seat to sit beside you. I saw him coming. It was hard not to. He squeezed between the seats like a two legged 'Jabba the Hut' head crouching, various bits bulging. He was prepared. He had a seat belt extension dripping from one pudgy paw. I panicked, the only thing I could do was flip down the dividing arm of the seat between us. His left cheek wedged in but not the right. There he was head in the cabin ceiling, right cheek trapping my left arm, sitting on the bending seat divider. He would have made a whole village of Vietnamese people. I'm thinking it's not that long, if he doesn't squirt me out the window I'll survive. Thank the traveling gods there was an empty double seat at the back and the steward moved him there. After that I was able to turn my face a watch the Rockies unfold on my way to Cranbrook. My son driving me over mountain roads filled with Elk, and deer grazing in the font yards off the village homes was the most comfortable part of the trip.

Next up British Columbia. Can't wait. After a sleep or two. P

Posted by patgoodeve 21:39 Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Saigon a generation later

What Hollywood never told me

sunny 32 °C
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Weird title I know. What I'm trying to say is; you are a part of all that you have seen, but if you have seen, or been told, only one side does that make you only half a person. Ok that's too complicated for me. I'll try again. Perspective. Can you have it looking at something from two sides? I certainly couldn't draw it. Is there a vanishing point to information? Trying to see both sides is giving me a headache. In my youth the French forces in Vietnam were sadly defeated. The Americans ruined their image of themselves in Vietnam. The white hat and cowboy star was tarnished because they couldn't really save Vietnam for; democracy, mom and apple pie. So I come here and find there is another side to this story. Headache time. Two weeks here. Admittedly not a serious amount of time. I think how the Vietnamese commoners, the ordinary people fought, for generations. Now that's a serious amount of time. Just to do their own thing. They like riding around on motor bikes. The girls like the boys riding around on motor bikes. Hell. I like them riding around on those crappy Chinese knockoff bikes! These guys are like my guys back home. Same same only different. They may be considered third world, but despite the fact that the most powerful country on the planet tried to bomb them back to the stone age they have gone from a country that had to import food to one that could export food in less than a generation. It makes getting a new DVD seem like small potatoes.

All the war material stuff is interesting. But really it just reveals suffering. You get the same propaganda smoke screen here as we do back home same, same, only different. Same with the people. They want to feed their kids, have a few drinks, and make love to their women. Don't we all. All over the world. So take the propaganda in; politics, religion, culture, morals with a grain of salt or a little knowing laugh. It's all same same only different.

Posted by patgoodeve 10:04 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

Vietnam Hoian

my favorite place Living on an island in an old hotel

sunny 28 °C
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Well what a wonderful day. Hoian really s a beautiful city. I woke up early and the Dutch, Swedish, Australians and the Canadians were ready for an early start. Five fifteen everybody was up and by the pool. The pool is great by the way. We all marched down to the ridge that joins the island we are on to the rest of the planet. The sun came up on time. I stood and remembered last night. At the middle and ends off the month little floating candles are placed in flower shaped paper cups and left to float down river. Very pretty. Unfortunately all my pictures show are little gleams of light and perhaps the shadow of a sampan ghosting down the river. Anyway extremely pretty. One could say beautiful.
Now back to the Australians, Norwegians, Swedes, Checks, and I'm sure I forgot a few. Who make this trip a real pleasure. Shopping with a Canuk from Ottawa. Buying stamps with a Swede. Sharing a computer with a Slovak. Cooking Vietnamese food with Australians. What fun! People who travel are radically different from the home bodies. Travel broadens the mind. Also the spirit. Travelers are the herbs and spices in the great stew of life. Homebodies are the staples; the potatoes and vegs. The homebodies are the most important but it would be less interesting without the spice.

I must tell you about the local market. It is on the other side of the river. Sampans and junks pass under my bridge and dock at a tumbledown quay. Watch your footing here a hundred years of fish juice is under foot. The bedlam is hard to believe. Mostly women. The buyers keep their motorcycle helmets on and the sellers wear the conical palm leaf ones. Everyone yells. The occasional fish is chucked, never a big one! For a size ten shoe t fit in the tiny spaces between woven baskets, crabs and rays takes some acrobatics. The little old ladies like to give a double handed parting of the bodies just when one number ten is up in the air and the other is on some fish guts. It sounds like the stock exchange in a bull market. Oh and I forgot to mention when it's beef on the menu; it's really water buffalo, old buffalo.
The internet using wireless is a little dodgey here but I was able to contact my agent Joeseph at the Flight Centre and he took care of changing a flight for me as easy as pie.

Posted by patgoodeve 16:53 Archived in Vietnam Tagged foot Comments (0)

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