I woke up on Monday 20th April needing some painkillers and ice on my injuries, my leg looked ok and just had a slight swelling. I only had raisins for breakfast as I couldn’t go out and so I checked in on my app and looked at the Corona data. Vietnam now had a total of 268 cases, with 202 recovered already (75%) and there hasn’t been a new case for 4 days now and zero deaths. Turkey was now up to 86,000 cases with 2,000 deaths and almost 12,000 recovered. The UK had reached 120,000 cases and 16,000 deaths but for perspective this was only 0.02% of the UK’s population that had died from something preventable in the last 3 months!
Being unable to walk about and depressing myself with stats there was only one thing to do, order some lunch! We were so fortunate that our friend, Vananh, had decided to open her restaurant for takeaway and delivery and Phong Nha Underground had a new limited menu which looked great. Captain Caveman ordered a bacon cheeseburger and I plumped for the tamarind glazed chicken. While we were placing the order I mentioned I missed the pots of tea at her place so she offered to sell me a tea pot and some loose tea (herbal and oolong). Captain Caveman went looking for crutches and pretty much exhausted all sources and I was contemplating going to hospital to get checked out but instead I did the RICE treatment; rested (I’m good at that), iced (well I didn’t need all the ice for alcoholic beverages right now), had compression bandages on both knee and ankle (as couldn’t tell which hurt the most) and elevated it on a bolster cushion while watching TV and trying to learn more Turkish.
There was more good news in the evening, Raj, from Namaste, had turned his oven back on so we could have more of our favourite dishes, including Afghani chicken, with our takeaway curry. We watched more episodes of Scream and we had a definite promise of crutches coming for the next day.
Captain Caveman had started to get a bit annoyed at being nurse maid by Tuesday 21st April. After 4 days my leg was getting better but the hopping about was giving me indigestion. Captain Caveman went to Coffee Station and had 3 espressos with Tatas and when he got back he made me my first pot of tea in the new tea pot. It was hot out (max forecast was 36°) so I was lucky to have AC and be indoors, there was meant to be a thunderstorm in the afternoon but it held off. I had hummus and carrots for a very late breakfast with my amazing pot of tea, which I really enjoyed. I even made it on to the sofa as well as polishing off leftover curry for lunch. By 5pm the crutches had finally been tracked down and Captain Caveman went to get them. We had a little practice and he deduced they needed making taller. I was a bit wobbly on them and still couldn’t navigate stairs at all. We ordered Vung Hue ribs for dinner (which disappeared too fast) and watched more Scream before having an early night. Tomorrow was another milestone in the rest of Vietnam’s lockdown and it would be announced if an extension would be made.
Wednesday 22nd April wasn’t the best day for me! My underarms were sore from the crutches, my bum and leg hurt and I was I wanted to be feeling better. I managed to hop over to the breakfast table for rice crackers and laughing cow cheese but a load of ants had got into the rice crackers so Captain Caveman had to remove them all. He made me a pot of herbal tea and tucked in to his peanut butter and marmite chapatis. I managed a half comfortable sitting position on the sofa with a cushion under my leg. It’s times like this I really miss a comfy sofa or a soft bed. It was raining out and I looked really tired but I checked in on the NCOVI app and saw Vietnam had more recoveries and were now at 222 out of the 268 cases (82.8%).
The news came that the discussions had started for the next phase of the Corona virus measures and I had a read up on directives 15 & 16 which were currently in place (link below if you’re interested in reading more) and the prime minister would announce more areas were to come out of lock down.
For dinner we ordered food from Phong Nha Underground, Captain Caveman had a burger (which he ate in less than 15 seconds) and I had Tamarind glazed chicken with mixed rice and veg – I loved it and it’s definitely one of my new favourites.
After more Turkish online Captain Caveman and I settled down to watch more Scream and had some treats (haribos and crisps) to cheer me up.
It was rainy and much cooler weather on Thursday 23rd April and I had to put a fleece on. My phone has countdowns of upcoming events and so I had a reminder that in 3 weeks time I should be off to Marbella for a hen weekend and that it was just 2 months to the wedding of one of my great friends back in the UK. Being in Vietnam this meant that even if a miracle happened I wasn’t going to be able to fly to Spain and it looked likely that the bride to be had some stressful rearranging to contend with.
Captain Caveman had gone out shopping and I could tell he was really getting sick of having to do everything. He wasn’t enjoying doing all the washing up, opening/closing curtains twice per day and having to make the bed as well as passing me things. He’s a fan of a bathroom being a wet room and so he was also having to keep the bathroom dry so I didn’t slip – I was becoming a handful. I needed to take painkillers so I managed to get the banana from the fridge and eat that and I already had a bottle of water next to the bed. Captain Caveman went to Coffee Station for his favourite breakfast and he brought me back a fruit salad (it was the first time I’d had one with avocado in). My foot seemed to be slightly better but I still couldn’t go out so we ordered BBQ chicken with sticky rice from East Hill (newly reopened) and waited for delivery. It was worth the wait – so fresh, hot and tasty.
I got word that despite immigration remaining closed in Hanoi for another week, my visa extension had been agreed and processed already, I was now legally allowed to remain in Vietnam until the 15th July.
Momma D’s was open again that night but I couldn’t have gone out so we stayed in with snacks and finished off Scream. It looked like my first free week was the week I never left the house and I’d not gone this long without an alcoholic beverage in quite some time.
There was some good news on Saturday 18th April; the bottle of wine from Phong Nha Underground had made it home with me last night unscathed and I had no idea how. I, on the other hand, had not escaped without injury. I could hardly remember what had happened until I tried to sit up and the pain in my bum bone was quite bad, my knee was throbbing and I had twisted my ankle – I even had to have breakfast in bed, on a tray.
There’s always someone worse off and so I still checked the Corona virus updates and checked in on my app to say I was (ironically) healthy! Vietnam had 21 more recoveries which was great news and meant 73% had recovered already. The UK recoveries now were showing as ‘no data’ but there had been 14,500 deaths and 108,000 cases with lockdown looking to continue for a few more weeks.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that we had left over Indian food for lunch and then we decided to watch a film. Captain Caveman put on The Outsider but I fell asleep and missed what it was about. In the evening we ordered our food from Phong Nha Underground and watched another film, Lost Girls, which wasn’t bad. I really enjoyed my garden rolls with pork and the tahini dipping sauce but I didn’t manage to eat all 4, so one went in the fridge. Captain Caveman was back on the beer but for me I think alcohol would have to wait a while!! Well, at least until I could navigate to the toilet (the one which isn’t broken) and get a shower unaided!
There’s no flies on Captain Caveman when it comes to being organised! On Sunday 19th April he pulled out (of the fridge) a feast of a breakfast from the surplus of our Phong Nha Underground order the evening before. We shared hummus and carrots and while he had the bread I ate the remaining garden roll.
The Lake House had reopened for pizza delivery and had posted on the Phong Nha Visitors page so of course Captain Caveman ordered pizza for lunch. Because of my gluten allergy I could just eat some of the topping and attempted to put some on a rice cracker. The pizza looked amazing and if it wasn’t for the consequences I would have risked eating it all.
After lunch we watched a great film, recommended by our housemate, Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood in. By the time dinner time came around Captain Caveman wasn’t hungry and didn’t want to order or collect any food so I just had crisps and water – this self inflicted house arrest was going to be testing!
We finished the evening with me eating crisps in bed watching Scream (the series) on Netflix and asking ‘What did that say?’ at every shot that showed a text message, because I was too far from the TV.
Our second day of freedom was a little different to the first one! On Friday 17th April we tucked in to onion bhajis and lamb samosas for breakfast (I didn’t eat the pastry or peas). The weather forecast had said it would rain but it looked fine when we decided to finish off the bottle of wine for lunch with just a couple of slices of cheddar cheese. Lung was here for her weekly clean so we used the excuse of needing to get out of the way to go over to Ho Khanh’s. I had a Strongbow while Captain Caveman had a Huda, we took some photos and didn’t even see anyone – even the dogs were asleep.
Momma D’s was opening at 4pm and we were so excited to actually be going out so off we cycled in readiness for an early bar. We had already ordered some garden rolls from Phong Nha Underground and so we intended to have a few drinks before sunset and then head home with our takeaway. Captain Caveman and I arrived to meet Des at the bar, Momma D was busy with her staff, who looked happy to be back working again. Captain Caveman ordered beer and I went for a glass of red wine. By the time Tatas joined and Momma D sat with us for a bellini shot, we were on our second beverage. More of the expats arrived and we had a right laugh, until I got too drunk.
Instead of going home, as planned, we had Phong Nha Underground deliver my food over to us and we ordered peanuts at Momma D’s too. There was even a bottle of red wine which I had pre-ordered from Underground which we saved to take home – a good night was had by all but I didn’t realise it might be the last one for a while.
Spending a second week at home with Captain Caveman because of the social distancing measures meant there was more need to Google things. Here’s my list for that week for those of you with nothing better to read:
1. Countries beginning with the letter ‘X’
2. Countries beginning with the letter ‘W’
3. Did Anne Hathaway have breast cancer
4. The effects of too much pineapple
5. Oliver North
6. Flights to Istanbul
7. UK no 1 songs on our birthdays
8. World Life Expectancy statistics
9. Vietnam news
10. Jason Leonard
11. Moving things with your mind
12. Itchy scalp at night
13. Nhung the superspreader
14. Jared Leto
16. How did the guy in Tiger King lose his legs.
17. How many calories in an avocado
18. Oolong tea
19. 22 Asperger’s signs and traits in adults
20. Yoga moves
21. Directive 15
22. Blinking for longer than usual
23. Extraction (film)
24. Emma Roberts
25. David Copperfield (and his wife)
If you missed the first week of Google searches, here it is: https://joloyolo.com/2020/04/18/phong-nha-30-things-i-googled-in-week-1-of-stfah/
Following the news from the previous day that we were allowed to relax the isolation rules in Phong Nha on Thursday 16th April we decided to go out! Before that I did a quick Turkish lesson and a bit of writing, not forgetting to check in on the NCOVI app and read the updates on the virus. The UK’s corona cases had increased by 4.6%, since the day before, while Turkey’s cases were 6.1% up from yesterday. Vietnam’s numbers were much smaller so the percentage increase was negligible at 0.4% increase. The deaths had risen in the UK by 5.9%, in Turkey by 7.6% and still zero in Vietnam. Turkey’s recovered cases had increased by 15%, Vietnam by 1% and the UK had not recorded any further recoveries.
We had a cycle the long way round in to town, with our masks on. The journey wasn’t much different from the last two weeks and we didn’t see that many people around. We went to Coffee Station where Captain Caveman had his usual and I opted for bacon and cheese with a herbal tea! On the way home we called in at Oxalis Home, it was a hot day and I expected to see lots of people around, but it was quiet. We got a call from the ex-lodger as he was off to Dong Hoi and would pick us up anything from the supermarket so I ordered rice crackers (you can’t have too many and they make a great gluten free alternative). We went home and ate our Vung Hue leftovers for lunch and I messaged the gang to see what everyone was doing now that we were free to socialise – nothing! In the afternoon Momma D dropped off our delivery of one bottle of wine, 200g of cheddar and more rice crackers – she had not been expecting to be able to open so soon and so Momma D’s was likely to be opening the following night. Not knowing what we would do with our ‘unfound’ freedom we sat down in the afternoon with a gin and watched In the Shadow of the Moon on Netflix (it was ok). I then had a strongbow and we ordered a curry which unfortunately I got terribly wrong; I meant to order 4 items but when I copied and pasted the list I accidentally pasted the wrong one which resulted in 8 items. Captain Caveman went off to collect it by bicycle and was gobsmacked when Raj gave him 2 bags of stuff. He got back and (as you can imagine) how we laughed at this silly mistake. We got the wine open and had at least 2 curries, samosas, bhajis and rice for the next day.
For those interested in the rules of the new rules of directive 15, here is the link:
1. The food and drink – most of all I miss being able to get a decent gluten free alternative bread, cereal and pasta. I miss having a proper kitchen (with an oven) and even the microwave to warm up my leftovers. I miss lots of restaurants and all the gorgeous food on the boat trips. I wish I’d brought some Turkish delight with me too.
2. The people – lots of lovely friends and drinking buddies, as well as all the friendly business owners and workers I know. I miss the Riverbums and the weekly clean ups and the flower sellers. All those Dalyanites I promised to see this month too.
3. The dogs – I miss the dog shelter and all those poor pooches who just want a bit of attention and a short walk.
4. The views – of the river and the tombs and the gorgeous sunsets, the ones at Kaunos or of the street from a favourite bar and of all the boats.
5. Turkish tea – you can’t beat it!
6. Fire Opal – I miss the home comforts, the swimming pool and the relaxing surroundings (and the neighbours).
7. Boat trips – the relaxing days out at sea or on the lake, visiting the beach or a moonlight cruise. Enjoying the quieter boats as a private group or joining a tour on the water and meeting people. Taking in the views which are different each time.
8. BC Spa – having full body or back massages, enjoying the hamam and the reflexology. Getting a face mask or chilling by the pool and seeing all the friendly staff there.
9. Pamper sessions – the pedicures at my favourite salon, the look of my glittery toe polish in my nice sandals. Having a trip to my amazing hairdresser who gives me the best curls.
10. Markets – trying the produce before we buy and getting such good fruit and veg. Wandering round and seeing what’s in season and choosing something to munch on.
Wednesday 15th April was Vietnam’s proposed last day of the 15 day social distancing methods and #STFAH. We were all waiting in Phong Nha for the news on if we would be having an extension or if tomorrow would be the first day of freedom. The evening before I had spoken to my parents who were still doing their lockdown and were healthy in the UK. It was good to speak to them but worrying that there still looked no end in sight for when normality could resume for them. I told them I expected we would have to extend our measures here and stay at home for at least another week. It was also 3 months since I’d arrived in Vietnam and looked likely I would be here for a lot longer than planned. The temperature was a moderate 27° while I read the news and it was a cloudy day with a maximum 32° expected. Vietnam now had 266 cases of Corona, Turkey had reached 65,000 and the UK over 93,000. There were still no deaths in Vietnam, Turkey were over 1,400 and the UK had exceeded 12,000. To put it in perspective the UK still had less than 0.2% of their population dead from the virus. In Vietnam there were more recoveries reported bringing the total to 169 (just over 63% recorded recoveries) which was promising.
We had Spanish omelette for brunch (I still don’t like eggs but forced it down) and the usual earl grey tea. For lunch Captain Caveman wasn’t hungry so we just had crisps to eat followed by white russians.
I received an email back from the consular which was of a generic nature but it had some FAQs which you may find interesting. I certainly didn’t realise that visitors to Vietnam who were from the UK were being advised to go back to the UK as soon as possible but I didn’t feel now would be a good time to take my chances.
The announcement finally came later in the day that the Vietnamese Prime Minister would relax existing measures in low risk provinces. Phong Nha is in the low risk province of Quang Binh so we were lucky to be told the new rules for us were as follows: masks and the 2 metre social distancing to be observed, maximum number of people in a room together to be 20, with maximum of 10 people in an outside gathering, for example a queue or being outside an office, shop or school. We were still to use the NCOVI app and not travel between provinces unless essential and transport between places would still be restricted. In other cities and provinces they were continuing lockdown or social distancing and staying at home until at least the 22nd April.
We were very lucky and we were free to go ‘out out’ from tomorrow! We ordered takeaway from Vung Hue and watched a film. The Snowman which had Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer and JK Simmons in, was about the disappearance of a woman and was ok but we were still a little shocked that life was about to return to normal from tomorrow!
There was more faffing around with the visa forms on Tuesday 14th April but I’m hoping that the info Ai was able to give (saying I was registered here until the end of the month) was adequate – I would find out in one week’s time. I checked in on my NCOVI app and looked at the Vietnam virus data of the previous day. There had been 265 cases, no deaths and 146 recovered (55%) but there was still over 2 million cases in the world. I had some Spanish omelette, cheese and an earl grey tea for breakfast while Captain Caveman tucked into his marmite and peanut butter chapati.
The most exciting thing to happen on this day wasn’t as rivetting a read as what we should have been doing on a Junk Boat in Ha Long Bay, but it did cheer me up. Gertie, the gecko, was on the floor underneath our wardrobe and when I called her she was looking at me. Geckos don’t usually sit on the floor in the day time so I was worried something was wrong and called Captain Caveman to take a look at her. I think one of us had been a little careless with a cocktail because when Captain Caveman went to touch her, she moved her front legs really fast but couldn’t move because her tail was stuck. He managed to free her and she ran off (with her tail still intact) and then he cleaned the sticky beverage spill up.
In the afternoon I had a couple of gin and salted lime drinks with some crisps (for lunch) and I emailed the Consular in Vietnam to let them know that I was applying to extend my visa and that I didn’t intend to be requesting a rescue flight home, I didn’t expect a response.
In the evening we had left over curry (yet again) and watched a film called The Last Thing He Wanted which started Willem Dafoe, Anne Hathaway and Ben Affleck – it was ok, if a little confusing.
After the Vung Hue leftovers for breakfast on Monday 13th April it was all about getting the necessary information for my visa extension sorted. My passport was already in Hanoi awaiting the reopening of the immigration and agencies on the 15th, hopefully, to be able to process it.
We tuned in to Murat’s play list again and he played us Lust for Life by Iggy Pop and Born Slippy by Underworld. Captain Caveman decided to make a Spanish omelette and Momma D brought out a new social distancing menu for delivery, which included wine and cheese, so I was happy.
I took a look at the Corona virus data which showed that the USA now had over half a million cases, the UK over 84,000 and Turkey had reached 56,000. Turkey did have some good news in that, despite over 1,000 deaths, they had recorded 3,000 recoveries. Worryingly the UK now had surpassed 10,000 deaths but were still not able to show any more recoveries and remained on 344, which seemed odd.
In the evening I completed more lessons on Duolingo, we had Namaste for dinner again and then watched a couple of films on Netflix. The Gambler which was a bit strange but quite good and Gangster Squad which was great if you like gratuitous violence and gangster films. Rumours filled Facebook that the Vietnamese lockdown would be extended by either one more week or until the end of the month, there were reports that a number of provinces had agreed to extend and so we assumed that we wouldn’t be going anywhere on or after the 15th. When China had started letting people ‘return to normal’ there had been an increase in cases which Vietnam did not want to risk happening here.
I was able to sleep in until 8:15am on Sunday 12th April, which back home was Easter Sunday. We had leftover vegan food for breakfast while listening to The Stone Roses, I am the Resurrection, and then we had a Snickers each. We listened to Murat’s playlist again and this time he played us Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones and Proud Mary by Credance Clearwater Revival and I danced to both. We had a busy afternoon because there was a family conference call booked in at 4pm with Captain Caveman’s parents, siblings and nephews. We got the tripod and the last bottle of wine out and got seated for the catch up. It was good to see everyone and the new addition to the family, they were doing well in Belgium, Spain and England and we chatted on for about an hour.
We decided, with it being a Sunday, to have a nice film in the afternoon and we watched Trainspotting 2, which I’d been waiting to see. I really enjoyed it and it reminded me of how shocking the original was, back in the day.
In the evening we ordered a takeaway from the Vung Hue and it was delicious; cabbage, veggie fried rice and the amazing pork ribs (which Captain Caveman shovelled in greedily while they were still very hot). I had a couple of ciders and then we had another conference call with some of the Berlin 10 at 8pm. We were getting in to the swing of the zoom app now, although having to scroll between screens on the phone to see everyone was tricky from the tripod. It was nice to see everyone in the UK trying to keep positive, even the friends who have had to postpone their weddings still had smiles on their faces! We also learned that the people with iPhones could change their backgrounds while on zoom, but we couldn’t. Being 6 hours ahead in Vietnam made it a bit tricky but the others forced themselves to have afternoon beers. After the call we were tired and so had an early night ready for a busy Monday.
When I woke up on Saturday 11th April Captain Caveman had sent me a photo which he had taken in the bathroom – it was Gertie the gecko. I had a rice cracker with laughing cow cheese for breakfast and then tried some peanut butter, but wasn’t keen. Captain Caveman had his usual of marmite and peanut butter on leftover chapatis and I checked the Corona virus stats. The cases in the UK were soaring with now more than 73,000 cases and ranking 7th in the world, Turkey had already reached 47,000 cases and were 9th. Vietnam were lucky and had reached only 250 cases now, with no deaths as yet. The USA was second to Italy in the number of deaths but the UK were 5th in the world with over 9,000 and Turkey had reached over 1,000 deaths and were 12th. In terms of recoveries China was still first and it looked likely that their lockdown may be coming to an end soon, Turkey had 2,400 recoveries but the UK still were only reporting 135 recoveries. I saw a news article which said that the UK didn’t have enough equipment to do their jobs properly, meaning hospital staff were likely to catch the virus. I’d also seen a Facebook post of someone proudly displaying a letter from Boris Johnson – it had far too many ‘shoulds’ in the wording for my liking.
After breakfast we tuned in to Murat’s playlist over Facebook – this guy is a friend and neighbour in Dalyan, Turkey, and has decided to do a bit of DJ-ing so we had a listen and he played us a couple of songs; including Purple Rain by Prince. Captain Caveman had the job of sorting out the TV and connecting it to the internet while I did more Turkish lessons, followed by a few white russians each.
In the evening we had a tasty meal from Phong Nha Vegan where we had something different in addition to some usual dishes – tofu in tomato sauce (excellent) and eggplant stew (a winner). Then it was our first movie night so we settled down in our newly layed out TV area and watched Friday 13th. Captain Caveman is so funny when he jumps at the scary bits and he made me jump more than the film. We watched a second film, not having had a TV since buying one in Turkey meant we were excited, which was The Nice Guys – another good film.
On Friday 10th April we were at the start of our second weekend of social distancing measures and had successfully coped with 10 days of the #STFAH regime.
I’d definitely drank less alcohol than I would when I could go out to a bar but I had certainly eaten much more unhealthy food.
For breakfast I had a rice cracker with cheese and a herbal tea (all of which were running low on stocks now). While I did some writing and a couple of Turkish tests (I now had some English friends from Dalyan competing on the Duolingo app with me) Captain Caveman got busy with more jobs at home. He hung a framed photo (on an existing screw) by Marcus Lacey of a train on the Long Bien bridge and he cleaned a section of the fridge and all of our glass straws. Captain Caveman was getting a bit twitchy that we both needed some exercise – it had escaped his notice that I had not needed exercise for years! I pumped up a neglected bluey and we set off on a long route via the road to nowhere in what was now getting a bit sunny and sweaty, especially wearing a mask. At the market we bought all the essentials we could fit in my basket; toilet duck, washing up liquid, washing powder, an onion, rice crackers, laughing cow cheese and a dish sponge for washing pots. We stopped at our favourite Shop and Go and got some Snickers and a bottle of (risky) wine – well it was the Easter weekend. We saw at least 10 policemen around the town centre and the church plus more police were doing the rounds checking up on people and businesses. I counted 18 in total and we were told it was to prevent the church holding forbidden Easter services. On the way back we popped in to Oxalis and I decided to have a beer (yes,with gluten in it)! Captain Caveman and the Operations Manager spoke about work and then we had a TV delivered which we were borrowing, on the proviso that Captain Caveman had to do some presentation reviews. I had a packet of unopened earl grey tea (from a year or two ago) so I cracked them open to find they were still fine. I had left over onion bhajis and some raisins for lunch before grabbing a cold can from the fridge and trying something new. The cleaner had arrived so we went up on the roof for the first time this year, Seamouse and his girlfriend had gone out shopping so we both sat in his hammock and drank our drinks – two people our size in one hammock is not comfortable. It was a lovely day and we even saw an albino jumping spider, which I didn’t kill.
In the evening I caught Captain Caveman looking a bit shifty and tried to see what he was doing on his phone but he said it was a surprise and that he was ordering me a present from Hong Kong – I didn’t quite believe him and surmised he was up to something. Our friend D-Dub messaged to say he had been caught in town without a mask and had been fined by the police. Luckily they let him off with just 200,000vnd and gave him a free mask, however that could be a couple of days pay for a local. We opened the wine from Shop and Go and I realised it was the same one we had bought in Dong Hoi – it wasn’t great but we would manage – and it meant we still had one bottle left for Sunday! We finished off the evening with more left over Indian and another glass of wine or two.
On Thursday 9th April we decided to go for a cycle to Oxalis so that Captain Caveman could check on something work related. I took advantage of being able to have a pho ga for breakfast and a cold green tea while we were there. It was a beautiful day and the river looked so peaceful and picturesque. On the way back home we stopped off so that Captain Caveman could ask the cleaner to bring us a replacement water and clean both rooms the next day. Here in Phong Nha, no one drinks out of the tap and so we have to buy 20 litre containers from the water man – we are lucky to have Lung (the cleaner) who will collect it for us at a very small cost. For lunch we finished off the wine and vegan food from the night before and I learned more Turkish before having a couple of gins. Captain Caveman took on another home improvement job and turned our downlighters in to uplighters – it made such a difference too. In the evening we ordered curry (yet again) but I wasn’t getting bored of it. Raj at Namaste is easy to deal with and the food is definitely the best available to be able to eat some and keep some. Captain Caveman decided to pimp up his bicycle for the curry run, with it being so dark outside he needed extra lighting. He even found some cooler bags which he used to transport the food so that it was still piping hot. We finished off the evening with a whisky and had a little toast to our friend, Ally, who had gifted us the whisky. Ally was also meant to be returning from Japan to Vietnam this month but that was not about to happen because of the virus. Had things been going to plan I would have been in Hanoi right now, waiting for The Aussies to arrive the next day but that had been postponed until 2021.
Things in the glass house (our home) had started to slide somewhat by Wednesday 8th April. While I ate a rice cracker and some raisins with a ginger tea, Captain Caveman was sat at the breakfast table with leftover pizza and a beer. It was still cool outside and a bit rainy. The ex-lodger/neighbour had several workmen fitting some railings on his balcony which would have been the envy of any of the Tiger King cast. We were slightly worried he’d have a tan with markings of a tiger by the time the summer came. At lunch I remembered why I had thought the chicken fried rice is best to be eaten fresh as it was quite congealed and not as good the next day – I picked out the chicken and sweetcorn and ate that. In the afternoon we opened the penultimate bottle of wine which was reckless, knowing we would only have one bottle left to last the next 6 days. In the evening we collected a slab of beer for Captain Caveman and a delicious meal from Phong Nha Vegan which I ate with some gluten free soy sauce given to me by Jo (the caver) when they left.
I decided it would be a good idea to download the latest series of Ozark to watch on Netflix, only to realise I never watched any of the second series.
Since the social distancing measures which started on the 1st April, here in Vietnam, I have used Google much more than I would have ordinarily. Here’s a list of everything I googled (30 of them), for those who like a list:
1. Gins, and what to drink with which ones.
2. Omar’s Namaste menu (several times).
3. Weather forecasts.
4. How long it takes ice cubes to freeze.
5. World Life Expectancy Corona virus statistics (often).
6. Populations of countries and cities.
7. Interesting facts about geckos (they sleep in the day and can lick their own eyes).
8. Difference between raisins and sultanas.
9. Yorkshire phrases and their meanings (because I said ‘I can’t get me hat off’).
10. The members of the band, Cream.
11. Dominic Cummings.
12. Dates of first cases of Corona virus in various countries.
13. Earthquake updates in Turkey.
14. English to Vietnamese translation.
15. English to Turkish translation.
16. Greenfly prevention.
17. Ant prevention.
18. JOLOYOLO YouTube playlist.
19. Ingredients of various Indian dishes (Malai kofte).
20. Name that tune presenter (Tom O’Connor).
21. Prince songs.
22. Utah Saints – why that name?
23. Indian food which is gluten free.
24. Quinine and its side effects.
25. Lionel Blair (don’t ask).
26. Oxalis Adventure.
27. Start of Ramadan 2020.
28. Drummer in The Stone Roses.
29. English to German translation.
30. English to Russian translation.
Photo by Captain Caveman
Here’s the next week of Google excitement for you: https://joloyolo.com/2020/04/27/googled-in-week-2-of-stfah