Rod McLaughlin


Yen Bai and a typical taxi driver (01 oct 15)

Grueling ride from Việt Trì to Yên Bái. For the first time, I'm going uphill. Many stops at cafes full of really nice people for cold drinks. I wasn't been able to get the local equivalent of Gatorade today - salty lemon. This is an ideal drink for a cyclist, marathon runner or whatever - you need salt as well as sugar and water. 

Lack of salt made me feel a bit dizzy. I should have got up earlier to avoid the 13:00-16:00 part of the day, but I had a bit of a binge last night and didn't get started 'til 07:30. I did quite a lot of pushing the bike up hills.

In Yên Bái, there are English schools, so I knew I'd meet kids who spoke English.

I also encountered my first Vietnamese scum. Yes, a taxi driver. All over the world, I find taxi drivers to be the lowest of the low. The old-style black taxi cab drivers of London always said "I'm just on my way home" if you asked them for a long ride - they made more money on short ones. Even in New York (Pakistanis) or Portland (Russians), most of them can't drive, navigate, nor speak English.  

As usual, the taxi driver was stupid as well as dishonest. He told me the ridiculous tale that there are no hotels in Yên Bái, and the nearest one is 100 Km away. He obviously wanted me to pay for a ride. But a bit further up the road I met a diamond geezer who told me there is a nhà nghỉ 1 Km away. That's where I am now. Wifi, kid speaks English, $10 a night.



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