We’d talked about getting up early and having breakfast together before Captain Caveman went on his next Son Doong tour on Thursday 20th May. I slept through the sound of the tannoy and Captain Caveman decided to go to Phong Nha a lot earlier than he needed to, instead. He had left me the tortilla (7 pieces) for me to have while he’s away. I had a banana and a small amount of dragon fruit for breakfast and saved the tortilla for lunch.
We had briefly spoken about what we would do if, like a lot of foreigners here in Vietnam, my visa extension was denied. We could see no reason why it would, but there were a lot of people posting on the internet saying they had been told to leave. After eating the Spanish omelette at lunchtime I was ill, as expected, I’ve never liked eggs anyway. I didn’t do much the rest of the day except for start looking at flights out of Vietnam. I’d had no wine since the weekend, mainly because we didn’t have any in – we were trying to cut back on wine as it’s expensive here, instead I had half of the cherries.


Vietnam had done so well to have so few Corona related deaths so it was upsetting to read, on Friday 21st May, that the Corona related deaths had started to happen again, so far people with underlying health conditions. Today the 39th death (since the start of Corona in January 2020) was reported:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/952831/81-year-old-man-becomes-39th-covid-related-fatality.html
I find it really interesting to know where the different variants have come from and this was an interesting article in the news:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/952234/viet-nam-discovers-two-new-strains-of-sars-cov-2-from-imported-cases.html
Also, more cases were reported in HCMC:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/952893/3-more-people-diagnosed-with-covid-19-in-hcm-city.html
Unusually, the second Corona death of the day was recorded, death 40:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/953548/70-year-old-woman-becomes-viet-nams-40th-covid-19-fatality.html
It certainly wasn’t looking too good for Saigon right now as 3 more cases were reported in HCMC which were traced from Danang from the last holiday weekend, more info here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210521/infection-source-of-ho-chi-minh-city-coronavirus-family-cluster-comes-from-da-nang-chairman/61066.html
Inevitably there were more restrictions in HCMC as some places were asked to close:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210521/ho-chi-minh-city-orders-certain-restaurants-to-cease-sit-down-service-over-covid-19-cases/61067.html
Later in the day there were more cases reported in HCMC but this time the Corona was from an unknown source, which was more concerning as it could mean that the virus was already in the community there and not contained, more here:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/953644/hcm-city-on-high-alert-following-cases-without-known-sources-of-infection.html
One of the things that Vietnam authorities are very good at is being quick to implement prevention measures. HCMC announced more restrictions from midnight tonight in an attempt to slow or stop the spread, more here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210522/ho-chi-minh-city-urges-travel-restriction-among-people-to-curb-virus-spread/61074.html
Vietnam is also, and has been from the start, all over the tracing element and reports in HCMC that recent cases were traced to Starbucks came in:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210522/saigon-authorities-trace-visitors-to-downtown-starbucks-bookstore-after-covid19-patients-visits/61075.html
It wasn’t looking too good but it wasn’t all bad news, reports of some more vaccines would be coming:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210522/vietnam-to-spend-525-million-on-covid19-vaccine-procurement/61079.html
All of this was concerning as the potential for local or nationwide lockdowns were increasing. From now on we would definitely have to stick to the motto ‘only be with people, or at places, you wouldn’t mind being in a lockdown with or at, from now on’!

I had an amazing breakfast of banana, dragon fruit, blueberries and cherries and some buttered toast. I swam lots and did exercises in the pool before lunch. I had a couple of pieces of tortilla and some grapes for lunch, did more swimming and then hoped to chill out before The Villas’ pizza night. That’s when my day took a bit of a downturn! My visa agent, had not been in touch yet with a photo of my new visa stamp and my passport, so I decided to chase her up. She had agreed to process the passport quicker than usual because of our planned holiday and had said it would be back by the 23rd May. I had originally been quoted $60 when I gave my passport to the agent on 5th May, then I’d had a message to say that there was an increase to $85, with the reasons being that I’ve stayed a long time and the increase in Corona risk. I was definitely not expecting it when the agent said I have to pay more to have a fresh visa sticker in my passport, so a total of $110!!! 
I went to pizza night in a bit of a daze, I managed 2 glasses of wine (which I probably shouldn’t have been splashing out on) and 7 slices of pizza then went home, still not having had a reply from the agent about when I would actually get my passport back. Captain Caveman was in the cave still and had left his luggage with me to meet him at the airport on Sunday for us to go to Saigon, I had a feeling our week away was not going to happen!

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