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Building hunts and hunting bugs

December 1, 2010

I’m on another island. Thailand’s mosquito bites haven’t even healed, and here I am offering myself as a buffet for Phu Quoc’s mosquitoes. I sprayed my arms and legs with repellant, and they bit my feet. I must be the ‘Extra Tasty’ flavor. I wish they weren’t so ‘Strong & Bitey.’



Two weeks ago, I had never slept under a mosquito net. Now I am, thankfully, under one for the second time, though I like to think that the ten-inch gecko that watched me shower will handle most of the bugs. We are staying at the Moon Resort, and were given the cheap room. I’m amused to report that there isn’t a room inspection when you check out. There’s nothing to steal. Not even hot water. And if I leave the windows open for circulation, everyone can watch me shower. They should be paying me to stay here!



I play the same mind games I played with myself at the lake last week: whatever any bug or creature can do to me won’t kill me (if there are poisonous creatures here, which I’m sure there are, I’m going to make like an ostrich and pretend they don’t exist.) It can only terrify me. And with a young, healthy heart, I should survive.

I don’t mind roughing it – I am just not used to it.

All unpleasantness aside, this island is beautiful, and our accommodations are pleasant. The sea was so smooth, and we saw one of the first complete sunsets in a while. Normally the clouds block the last bit. It was nice to sit on the beach and enjoy a clear blue sky.



My brother, Israel, and his girlfriend have been here since Sunday. Having guests back to back has been fun because everyone likes to see Vietnam a different way.

We spent most of yesterday afternoon looking for the location of the famous photograph of the last helicopter flight out of Saigon after the city fell. We had the address, but discovered that a new high rise was preventing us from standing far enough away to view the top where the people were lifted from.

We tried sneaking into the unfinished upper floors of the high rise, but security turned us away. There was a gate leading into the complex where we believed the lift took place, but Israel only got far enough to see what looked like bullet holes in the building before a guard saw him.

(There is a noise, that I hope is a gecko, so close and so loud that it could be, but hopefully isn’t, sitting on Jonathan’s shoulder. It sounds a bit like a low-pitched squeaky toy.)

We walked down a few different blocks, looking for a good angle, before we thought of the HSBC building. It’s close by, unobstructed by other buildings, and quite tall We strode into the patrolled lobby, full of confidence and direction so no one would question us. Israel still got stopped, but while he feigned ignorance, we went for the nearest elevator.

Our first stop was the sixth floor where a man promptly questioned our presence. We begged him to just let us have a look out the huge windows. He replied that if we wanted a view we should go to the 16th floor where you could see everything. Then he keyed in the code and sent us up.

He was correct, and we got a stunning view and different perspective of the city. After seeing the roof from another angle, we feel pretty certain that was the location. The building now seems to be a dilapidated apartment complex. But there seem to be a lot of huge, worn down, lovely buildings with sharp fences around them that used to be something.

I’ll post a picture, but can’t right now because I’m underneath a mosquito net in a creature-filled room on my iPhone.

Tomorrow we plan to ride around the island and see what we can see. Let’s hope this gecko doesn’t croak all night.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Charity permalink
    December 14, 2010 18:26

    When you described the gecko sound, was it really Jonathan whispering “sweet nothings” in your ear?

    • Charity permalink
      December 14, 2010 18:26

      PS… that sunset is GORgeous!!!

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