We hardly took time to look around our room after our arrival, basically just dumping our bags and heading out to town. We checked out the local grocery store to pick up some water and some juice and then sought out some pho. This particular rendition was full of some really tough duck meat that we mostly avoided.
The city by night was a bit more welcoming (and we find that most things are more pleasant when we aren’t starving!) and we spent some time walking around in the darkness, noting some interesting cultural celebration that we never managed to identify, and checking out the war monument in the dark.
By the time we returned to our room from dinner, it was rapidly becoming clear that we hadn’t done a very thorough walk through of the place. We immediately noticed huge numbers of tiny ants, a large lizard, and an actual bird hanging out in our room, all due to the fact that the room had a big hole in the wall near the ceiling leading directly outside. A bit later, we also met the biggest flying insect I have ever seen buzzing around the place.
Despite the “wild” condition of the room, a thunderstorm was brewing outside, and the redeeming feature of our hotel was that we had a private balcony out to the noisy street. Normally, we wouldn’t have used it much but today it made for a perfect spot from which to watch the downpour and observe the lightning storm.
As we headed for the showers, Ben discovered that a critical piece of plumbing was missing from the sink, leading any sink water to simply drain onto the floor. Our frustration and exhaustion was mounting, and we decided to skip the shower entirely and go straight to bed. For $7 bucks a night, I suppose we shouldn’t have complained.
We made a careful inspection for bed bugs and found none, so we decided to simply make the best of things. We pulled the provided mosquito net around the bed and tucked it into the mattress creating an barrier of imagined safety, then climbed into the sleeping bag liners we had brought with us to avoid touching the bed too much and tried to get some sleep.