Well, I’ve made it to Saigon. Got off to an auspicious start, tripping over Will Self in Paddington Station. I hugged Henry goodbye and turned to go. There he was, as tall and awkward as a baby giraffe, coming around the corner. I felt it was a good sign.
I had a row of seats all to myself for the first leg of the journey, London to Doha, and managed to snooze most of the way. Despite it being the middle of the day.
Turns out a year of studying Vietnamese has put a bit of it into my head. I can read most signs and say inane things to taxi drivers and hotel staff. I checked into the Continental Saigon, really looking forward to the lovely pool table in the first floor bar. Turns out the bar has been replaced by a tiny useless gym. That is a crime. Without the distraction of a pool table I couldn’t stay awake past 6pm. The hotel staff did direct me to a bar around the corner with a pool table, but I couldn’t stomach the tone deaf name of the place, Apocalypse.
Woke up at 4am, perfectly rested and had a nice show as Siagon woke up. The birds prevailed for an hour or two before being overwhelmed by traffic noise.
This hotel is still lovely, despite the murder of the pool table. It’s like staying at grandma’s house, with all the same weird old furniture and musty smells. May the hotel gods please spare it any further updates.