Every cloud has a silver lining!
I’ve discovered the benefit of having my Appendix out. Hurrah! Every cloud has a silver lining – who’d have thought!
Before I left the hospital, I was given a form to hand over to our airline, instructing them to provide me with a wheelchair. Wow! What special treatment the three of us received! We whizzed through the fast track lane for security and passport control, bypassed the queue and were taken onto the aeroplane first.
At the other end in Ho Chi Minh, bizarrely we had to wait until last to get off the plane. By the time we climbed on the bus to the terminal, there was no room for me to sit down. After a bumpy ride, we were greeted by a porter who was waiting with two wheelchairs; one for an elderly man and one for me. Despite Jac and Tim offering to push me, the man was certainly not going to relinquish his responsibility, even though he was struggling to avoid obstacles, yelling at people to get out of his way.
At passport control, we were taken directly to the crew lane. As I was so low in my seat, I’m sure that the passport official couldn’t even see me!
We finally reached the baggage claim and got chatting to the other man in the wheelchair. He was from California, now living in Bangkok. Suffering from macular degeneration, his trip to Ho Chi Minh was to have eye injections. It works out cheaper for him to fly and stay here for a week, rather than have his vaccinations in Bangkok!
One of the first pieces of luggage on the carousel was his motorised chair. He quickly assembled it, plonked himself in and away he went.
Meanwhile, our porter waited patiently for us. Bags retrieved, off he took us to the taxi rank and helped me into the cab. What service! There you go, every cloud has a silver lining. Mind you; I wouldn’t recommend having your Appendix out just to get through border control quickly!
As you may know, we are blessed knowing so many contacts around the world or having friends and family introducing us to people. And Ho Chi Minh is no exception.
Our sister Dawn connected us with her friends Ben and Myriam, who have lived in HCMC for the last seven years. When we linked with them on WhatsApp, they said that friends who live on the same condominium were going away for Tet and welcomed us to stay in their apartment!
We arrived at Ben and Myriam’s, who greeted us like old friends, as did their delightful children May and Jude. After settling into our new home for the week, we popped back for a delicious fish meal with them. It turns out that Jac knows mutual acquaintances through The Besom, so there was lots to chat about, as well as some in-depth philosophical discussions.
Our next day was mainly me focussing on collating and completing my medical insurance claim. There were 43 different items that I needed to scan or save documentation, and of course, in typical Lindsey style, I compiled a spreadsheet corresponding file names for each entry. I must say that Tim and Jac were very patient with me!
In the evening, we ventured into District 1 to meet Sara and Alan, friends of Jac, who happened to be here for a couple of days after completing a charity bike ride around Hanoi. We were near to Nguyen Hue Street where a Flower Festival was celebrating Tet. It was lovely walking down the pedestrian boulevard, admiring the elaborate flower displays and visitors wearing their finery.
Jac’s friends were staying at the luxurious Park Hyatt Saigon, a bit beyond our standard accommodation! We chatted over a drink in the plush lounge and was fascinated to hear about their ten years of squeezing into their Lycra and cycling hundreds of miles to raise money with a group of buddies for three charities.
We climbed the stairs to the mezzanine floor and enjoyed the delights in the Hotel’s signature restaurant Square One. Our conversation flowed, my plethora of sea bass was perfectly cooked, and it was fascinating to see trainee chefs being taught in the spotlessly clean open kitchen — a wonderful evening after a frustrating admin day.
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