I have just spent 24 hours in the Mekong Delta, a brief taster or the week I will spend in Tra Vinh with Violet, starting on Wednesday. On this short trip I believe I consumed every single incarnation of coconut under the sun. My mother would have been horrified (she hates coconut). We had coconut candy, fish in coconut sauce, coconut water, dried coconut, fresh coconut, coconut wine. The only thing missing was the Malibu. We also stayed in a coconut plantation, swung in hammocks in the shade of coconut palms, tried to shimmy up coconut trees, were rowed around in coconut wood boats, walked by piles and piles of coconuts, took pictures of growing coconuts, cycled around coconut farms, watched coconut shells float by us in the river and narrowly avoided getting hit on the head by falling coconuts. In short, my first impression of the area around Violet's new home is coconutty.
In other news, I am preparing to leave the safety of the group tour and make forages into solo tourism. I feel mighty intrepid and adventurous and independent. Also a teeny tiny bit petrified. I have already booked a hostel for me to stay in for the next couple of days before I start my trip down to Tra Vinh, although I have to admit that I chickened out of the slightly cheaper shared dorm in favour of my own room. It only made a couple of dollars difference per night and I'm a wimp. I will be in Saigon until Wednesday and then I'm catching a local bus to Tra Vinh, because I'm adventurous like that, and also because there is no tourist bus because, despite the Lonely Planet's enthusiasm, no one wants to go to Tra Vinh. My tour guide is going to help me buy the ticket, because my Vietnamese hasn't really progressed beyond, hello, thank you, cheers, I am very tired and counting to three. And in all honesty no one seems to understand me when I say these things. And that's all folks!