I slept until 8.15am on Thursday 27th May, I must have been so tired from all the worrying about my passport, which was now at the agent’s house in Dong Hoi. I had the rest of the blueberries and some crispbreads with peanut butter for breakfast before checking out the Corona news. Unfortunately there were more HCMC cases, by 10am a concerning church group were mentioned for the first (but not the last) time too:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210527/ho-chi-minh-city-announces-3-coronavirus-infections-10-suspected-cases-all-belonging-to-religious-sect/61164.html
Meanwhile in the cities, people were reported to be ignoring the restrictions imposed, more here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210527/hanoi-residents-visit-parks-recreational-areas-despite-closures-for-covid-19-prevention/61170.html
And here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210527/over-100-ho-chi-minh-city-eateries-found-violating-covid19-restrictions-in-10-days/61169.html
I’d booked the car to Dong Hoi (again) for 2.30pm. I’d messaged a few friends in Saigon to let them know I would be able to meet them and was going to be there later tonight, hoping to catch up on Saturday night for drinks. Strangely my phone stopped being able to save any screenshots which was a bit annoying but I wasn’t too bothered because I was looking forward to a couple of days away.


At 1.30pm I got a call from Captain Caveman saying not to get on the flight to Saigon as they were starting to put parts of the city in to lockdown. He was in a restaurant, with Ania and Mik, and had been told they would be closing in a few hours and they were asked to leave before 6pm today, more info here:
https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/only-takeaways-allowed-in-hcmc-as-new-coronavirus-cluster-surfaces-4284858.html?fbclid=IwAR23pm89dbsltB98pvt9QCc2vMy6ZQf6IoXyYVRz2Ga4Ki3-eDHhC4rNcp4
Of course I was disappointed not to be able to go on holiday but I was more worried that Captain Caveman would get stuck in Saigon. There was a flight back to Dong Hoi this afternoon which he wouldn’t have time to make, but would try his best to get on a flight tomorrow (there were 2 available).
My car for Dong Hoi came at 2.30pm and I explained to the driver I wanted him to take me to Tree Hugger, wait one hour there and then bring me back which he was ok with.
When I arrived at Tree Hugger I ordered a beef and veg stir fry with rice and a herbal tea, plus I decided to order some takeaway food for later and tomorrow. I was eating my late lunch when the visa agent arrived with my passport. I was so relieved, even though I now wasn’t travelling anywhere.

I took my takeaway bags and Tupperware home and had just had a shower when Captain Caveman called me, in Saigon things had taken a turn for the worse and no one was allowed out unless essential so he was having Baba’s Kitchen takeaway and drinking wine. He told me he would definitely be back tomorrow and not to worry but with a total of 227 cases today (the highest in a day so far), I wasn’t so confident, more info here:
https://vietnamnews.vn/society/958354/227-local-cases-detected-thursday.html
For dinner I had my delicious Tree Hugger takeaway which was a cheeseburger and chips, then Veronika called me over to her balcony where we shared a bottle of fizz – it was good to celebrate getting my passport back, at least.
By 10pm a District 1 Saigon hospital was under lockdown and an announcement that all international incoming flights would be stopped from coming to Saigon from 30th May (although this decision would be overturned soon after). Before bed I ate more of my takeaway which I was saving for tomorrow which was meant to be a cheese and ham toastie, unfortunately they forgot the cheese. Even though I’d eaten gluten and dairy for dinner I was fine, too, but went to sleep wondering what dramas tomorrow would bring!

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