Captain Caveman was back off into the wilderness for 3 days on Monday 23rd August. He was excited to be going to one of the new Oxalis cave tours, Hang Ba, and was glad to be doing something work and cave related. I did a few of my usual daily chores and had fruit for breakfast, including some of the pomelo from Funny Monkeys and a bit of dragon fruit. I also wrestled to get out the brownie concoction, that we had now got frozen to the frying pan, so I could put it in a tuppaware box – it still fell apart so it was now a deconstructed brownie.
In the news in Vietnam it was mainly about the even stricter lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, from today the military were in Saigon to enforce the ‘everyone stay where they are’ lockdown, here’s the info:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210823/military-troops-deployed-to-assist-in-ho-chi-minh-citys-fight-against-covid19/62724.html
There were some reassuring reports of China having no new cases for the first time in a while, if this lasts it would be a promising sign, more here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20210823/china-reports-no-new-local-covid19-cases-for-first-time-since-july/62725.html
In Turkey there would be new rules coming in for use of transport across the country (http://sabahdai.ly/_w57) which I thought was a good thing but might also affect me if it takes me much longer to get a 2nd jab, either here or in Turkey.
For lunch I had leftovers from Saturday night – chicken, rice and vegetables and as we were on such a tight budget we were wasting nothing, I’d even got last night’s unfinished dinner in the fridge for another meal. Veronika all rested and had enjoyed staying at The Villas for the weekend, she was going back there tonight though for curry night and I decided I would go to curry night too, it could be my last one, and I let Ben know I needed a pick up. I messaged Colin to ask him a couple of details about his journey from Vietnam to the UK and he called me for a chat. His main piece of advice was that we are more likely to catch Corona in the UK than Vietnam, I was shocked when he told me that no airport staff at Manchester airport were wearing masks, nor did they check any paperwork except for his passport, and everything seemed completely as normal – he was a bit cheesed off that his taxi driver was an anti-vaxer who thought the pandemic was just a conspiracy! Colin said the transit area at Singapore airport was boring and not really much available unless you had a bank card to order food or drink, so to take stuff with me, they did have comfy seats, though.  He tried to tell me not to listen to anyone who said that our Vietnamese vaccine certificate would be accepted in the UK and that they didn’t need to isolate at home, because that wasn’t true. He had booked his tests and the other 3 hadn’t but then Singapore Airlines were trying to refuse check-in to everyone but Colin – he was forgetting that I wasn’t going back to the UK first, so this didn’t apply to me.
There were a few reasons I wouldn’t be going back to England from Vietnam and those were:
1. I have no English bank card or money, having not been there for 3 years.
2. I no longer have a home in the UK to self isolate at.
3. Some people have asked why I can’t isolate at a family or friend’s house, but I am likely to be not fully vaccinated and although I would be with people who are, they can still catch the virus from me, or give it to me. I didn’t want to put my parents at risk.
4. The cost – it’s cheaper to go to Turkey first.
5. Everything I own that isn’t in Vietnam with me, is in Turkey.

Duyet drove Veronika and I to The Villas for curry night on Monday 23rd August. Ben and his kids were already there, with the family who were still staying at the Farmstay, and were on the river. Ben was driving a speedboat up and down while towing a surf board which the kids were taking it in turns to have a go on – they were loving it! I went inside and asked for some water for my stomach medicine, I didn’t want to ruin my night with stomach issues so I had decided to take Gastropulgite before my meal. I also ordered a beer and while I was drinking it I thought I’d have a look at the drinks menu, even though I know it well. I’m glad that I did because all the prices had gone up!! A can of Huda beer was now 40,000vnd (£1.28), so that was probably my last beer at The Villas and I even had ice in it to make it go further.  Veronika and I both ordered the curry and I made myself save half of my nan bread and half of the curry for tomorrow, even though I could easily have polished it off. That way paying 225,000vnd (£7.20) for my night out and an extra meal was justified from the rather tight budget. Ben had a good idea to have his bowl of curry covered with the nan bread and baked in the oven (what he called a Guiness pie) and it looked great. Veronika and I sat chatting and we were talking about how practical Captain Caveman can be, her example made us both laugh; when she had told Captain Caveman she was moving out of Elements next month, he had asked her if she would be taking her hot plate with her! This piece of kitchen apparatus had been so useful during the flood season but the microwave did have all the functions so he would get by, maybe I would leave him the BBQ hotplate destined for Turkey. 
On the drive home with Ben, he mentioned that Quang Binh had run short of vaccines and so it was unlikely I would be able to get my 2nd dose, either before I leave or before my 12 week anniversary of the 1st one was up. If this was true I was very disappointed, but not at all surprised.

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