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Day 17 Back on the Road Again, June 24

Nam Binh (1), Vietnam

A Day 17 Back on the Road Again
Hi Gearheads!
Wounds healing and Typhoon wrung out it is now time for me to leave Thanh Hoa and get a few k's under my belt. I went for coffee at my usual place and joked around with the owner. We practiced my pronunciation of several words. Funny. It was raining all morning so I had my raincoat on as I walked back to my room. I decided to check on the bike before going up to pack and I found I had a flat front tire. I knew from my travels around the neighborhood exactly where to go, so I packed my bags, but left them in the room and then I walked the bike across the street to get the tire fixed.
A young Vietnamese man named 'Viet' actually, was having his tire fixed as well and wanted to practice his English so we went to coffee and chatted. Viet was studying to be a CPA and his wife is a teacher. After we spent 45 minutes over coffee he invited me to have lunch at his house. I thought about it for about 10 seconds and said, "sounds great!". He waited while I checked out of the hotel and we drove our bikes with the newly fixed tires over to his apartment, about 10 minutes away.
His apartment was two rooms and a bath and it was very nice. His wife, Tin, was very sweet and understanding, she spoke some English as well, and their son was 8. They both looked in their early 20's.
I visited with Viet while Tin prepared lunch and he gave me a gift of a mounted medal with a portrait of Ho Chi Minh on one side and scales on the other. He said he got it when he was working for the Department of Justice. I gave him a pair of Smith sunglasses and he seemed to like them, they had a nice leather case and are aviators style. Then he showed me his English language books including his Accounting and Business Textbooks and for fun he reads Mark Twain and Sherlock Holmes stories which I also enjoy very much.
Lunch was served on a large platter with serving bowls on a woven mat on the floor. We sat cross legged and they put rice in my bowl first and then some slices from a delicious duck egg omelet Tin had,made. There was also cucumber soup served hot and fried fish. Everything was very good and whenever I got close to finishing my serving Viet would put more of something in it! Finally I was able to politely decline more food, the rice was,very filling and I loved the eggs especially.
We took some pictures and we exchanged contact information and talked about some other stops ahead of me and then it was time to drive again.
By now the sun had come out and the roads had dried up and it was smooth sailing out of town. I am keeping it in third gear in town now being one of the little fish and learning my lessons in schooling.
I had a very modest goal of 63 k today to get to Nam Binh, the first large city down the road. Still seeing lots of construction in progress, but no workers at most of the sites. Very dusty and I've misplaced my face mask so I will need to buy one soon.
I found a Hotel just inside of town and they had a mechanics shop so I am getting the bikes oil changed according to Mr. Thien's instruction, around every 500 miles. Up to my room and kicked back for the night.
Quick note about traffic cops- they wear tan uniforms and stand by the roadside on the outskirts of a town and wave a nightstick to signal trucks and bikes over to them to check papers or whatever. Last week I was waved over and before I could even get at my papers the cop saw I was foreign and laughed and waved me out! He didn't even want the hassle of dealing with me!!! Funny, funny.
Tomorrow it is either towards Ha Long Bay or Hanoi, not sure yet, I will sleep on it and decide tomorrow.

permalink written by  Mike_Veine on June 24, 2013 from Nam Binh (1), Vietnam
from the travel blog: Top Gear Adventure 2- Vietnam Boogaloo!
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