Hello friends.

I’m back in the comfort of my own room in Metro Manila, surrounded with the organized mess and old familiar pillows and stuffed bears that I left a few days ago. I went on a three-day trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, making it my last hurrah before the world ends on the 21st Christmas.

It was a quickie. My first day was spent sleeping in a hotel in District 1; mother and I just got out for some late lunch in Pho 2000, that popular pho place in HCMC. We then strolled aimlessly inside Ben Thanh Market, just across Pho 2000. It is like Divisoria in Manila, only with less garbage. When evening came, people flocked to the park on Pham Ngu Lao, right outside Freedom Hotel where we booked a two-night stay, for a food event called ‘Taste of the World 2012’. We stuffed ourselves until two friends arrived from Indonesia.

Second day was spent along the murky waters of Mekong Delta, the southern end part of the Mekong River. It’s a long stretch of river connecting Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, China and Tibet. I didn’t like the weather that day – highest point was at 35 degrees Celsius. I was sweating profusely, lunch was late, and I had a hard time trying to understand our English-speaking Vietnamese guide. I tried really hard to reverse the mood, which explains my funny video while on a small row boat cruising along a narrow canal. I really think something similar can be done in the Pasig River in the Philippines. Ha.

Back to District 1 in the early evening, we booked a whole day Ho Chi Minh City tour for the following day. The tour happened, alright, but I didn’t get to join. The heat of Saigon was inside me. I was burning with fever.

This is my first time to get sick while traveling, complete with intense joint and muscle pains and high fever. Mother was up all night looking after me, thanks to Vietnamese traditional coffee. The trip to Tan Son Nhat International Airport was nauseating, and the flight back to Manila was terribly chilly, suggestive of a blackout. It was terrible. I’m just so thankful I’m home.

By the way, I already saw a doctor. She said I have German measles (note: contagious). Oh well. Got to scratch my butt rest now.

*Title borrowed from the hit Broadway musical Miss Saigon

Longest flight home. With fever, itchy rashes, sore muscles and painful joints.