Good evening, Vietnam! By Ruben

By the time the plane had landed in Ho Chi Minh City (otherwise known as Saigon), it had grown dark and we were all tired from the journey from Bali in Indonesia. The man running the place at the home-stay we were going to be staying had arranged to pick us up at the airport, but we didn’t know for sure if he’d be there waiting for us, as things don’t always go to plan! Anyway, before getting through immigration and leaving the airport, first we had to get a Visa to come into the country. Luckily for us, mum and dad had done their homework and sorted all the official paperwork before we left Bali and we were one of the first in the Visa area, so we got a seat straight away in the waiting area. What felt like 1 year later the Vietnamese immigration finally granted us our 3 month Visa and after paying the US$45 each, we were finally able to leave the airport. I don’t think the officer had finished his sentence or shaken our hand before we were out the door and racing for the pick-up zone, hoping our ride would still be there (not to mention our luggage that had be going round and round the carousel all this time!). Astonishingly, the guy was there – he had waited a long time for us! He introduced himself and told us his name was Ben, and that he was 27 years old. Dad introduced himself, and mum introduced Rosie and I. “Nice to meet you,” i said, but Rosie kept quiet, probably because she was a bit shy. Ben’s friend William had brought him to the airport on a motorbike, but we all had to take a Taxi back to his place, as we couldn’t fit all of us on a bike with two other people AND our luggage (although it would have been fun trying!). The drive to the city took roughly 20 minutes, and during the journey in the taxi, Mum had asked Ben whether he knew any good places to eat as it had been a while since we left Singapore airport earlier that day. So, just as we were approaching the homestay, Ben told the taxi driver to stop, and told us that the place he recommended going to was his favorite place to eat. Even though I’m the best at trying new foods in different countries, I didn’t fell like eating anything as I was hot, tired, stressed and I just wanted to go to bed. We did leave the restaurant eventually, but that was over half an hour later, when Mum and Dad had ordered almost everything on the menu and everyone had finished eating, chatting and had let their ‘food go down.’ We then walked for another 2 minutes to get to the apartment in the centre of Saigon, but it felt like we walked for another 2 hours! When we got to the house, I did all the essential things you have to do before going to bed as quick as I could, before collapsing into bed and falling asleep. We had finally reached Vietnam!

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