Friday, September 10, 2004


I'm frightfully sorry but this is going to be one ofthose fucking boring email travelogues......fuck I'msuffering linguistic deprivation already.I'm stillwriting snail mail postcards to those whose addressesi've got.....So picture me in one of those international lonelyplanet style backpacker meccas...could be anywhere:glebe , bondi, earl's court, Amsterdam, barcelona, therive gauche........I'm in an internet cafe, along astreet lined with cheap tour agencies, foreginexchange, cheap hotels, groovy disdplaced cafesreferring to rock songs, and long libed pale muscularyouths sporting back packs........Vive la Non lieu! do you really need the name of thecity.trips for successful travel - pick your brandf oftourist travela nd stick with it - watch the signs andsport the clobber so others identify just who youare.......Dickhead moi, fresh from a fattening french Xmas offoie gras, and with hair grown out and deep ingrainedprejudices from the St Joseph's College glen Innesguide to travelling overseas, unfortunatel allowedmyself to be led to the Potts point end of town. Bighotels, Big shops, No decent food, only americancoffee. Accented screams of "HEEELLLOOOOO" on everycorner. It sucked.Chambre nous was a strange cross between the bluedolphin at nambucca heads, with a touch of Hoc Tap andBasil Fawulty thrown in. The manager was a scary crossbetween Zhang Zhinh and Imelda Marcos - or some dodgydrag queen - or was that my old boss? Prizer bitch. Wewere paying fifty aussie bucks a ngiht and the aifcondiitoning didint' work and the room stunk ofcabbage. 3 nights prepaid on a pre tet panic. fuck.The breakfast was OK. Amazing fruit and pho with a 270degree views of the city and the river and the sunriseaccompanied by the casio Karaoke backing soundtrack.(think of Ave maria on an old nokia!!!!!)Last night I found a small hermetically sealed roomwith mega aircon and satellite TV. Watched news infrench and italian cooking shows in Italian.......Engross it was better.Highlight of yeasterday wasspoeaking french with an old couple in tha park whoweren't trying to sell us anything. lowlight wasrealising that the munich beer palace only serveddodgy thai salads with different names - but alltasting suspiciously like Newtwon Thai takeaway.Acute weird point yesterday was the "revoulutionarywomen\"; section in HCMC museum. HCMC musuem costs10000 d to visit or 13000 d to pose in wedding gear.Unforutaley we left ours in Paris. Bride everywhere inmountains of tuile imitating Proust and the virginmary (think of pale limipid saintly wilting) spereadout all over spectaular neoclassical balconies a lamode francaise. Next door we ar ein a room with a hugesocialist rEalist mural depicting sexy billboardstuyle chicks in ao dais extatically waving andleaping around a tank with a type of female cheguivara figure on the top, as nuns covwer beneath.Lnog Live the revolution eh what? other highlights ofthe fmeinist program of giai phong included displaysof cake tins used by comrade madam X, to make cakcesfor revolutionary cadres. And blouses and jumpers wornby the veritable Comrade Madam Y . this is all somescary American plot to turn me off revolition. all theway with capitalism eh?Crossing roads here is a challenge. Drivers much lesshomocidal than France, but constant barrage ofinterpolation sucks. Keep your eyes to yourself -don't llokd at anyone and shake your head. this reallysucks. I thought yesterday if anyone gesticulated atme with an air motorbioke I'd gesdticulate back with afucking air kalshnikov! hid in hotel.Drank beer, feltbetter.So : moral of the story...gues where the hell it isthat I am? I'm only speaking english, and doing a spotof shopping and it is hot. Everyone quotes to me in USdollars......More empty spaces.......I could list thesights, the sounds, provide a cutesy traveloguereminiscent of SMH travel section, but what's thepoint? Being here I realise that tourism should makeme a better consumer and a better capitalist. (onemust l;earn to barghain, one must learn to find thebest deals, the real product, the genuine food). Thisis the only cultural landscape I am inhabiting rightnow. Blinkers off. The food ain't that different towhat I seek out at home: coffee, rice, pho...........The crowds are just like lonodn tube at Xmas and theweather is similar to what i'm dreading in Sydney in afortnight anyway.......This is not unlike spain, or sydney, or BK, KL,,amsterdam etc. Same Community aid abreoad styleehtinic ware in shops in this particular cartier andpseudo upmarket shit down the road......More detailed travelogues of previous explorationswill be puclished in my forthcoming book: "Why Londonis a cheaper holdiay destination than Vietnam", andthe next chapter will hopefully include pictures ofrocks.

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