I was awake early with a cough, a sore throat and still feeling tired on Tuesday 31st August but it went after some water and a lemon salt sweet. When I went downstairs there was a bag of our returned washing, which hadn’t been folded because Duyet had done them while the girls were staying at home. If one of the worst things to happen was for us to have our laundry without fabric softener and unfolded for once then we could handle it – it was day 6 of the #STFAH lockdown afterall. Captain Caveman made himself an amazing looking omelette while I used the left over rice to make a tasty chicken and sweetcorn egg fried rice for my breakfast. I checked the news as usual and saw they had officially communicated that there would be no domestic flights in Vietnam for the foreseeable future:
I also read some interesting stories from westerners who were stuck in Saigon during the lockdown conditions and it made me think it could happen here in the not too distant future.
I recieved messages regarding our shopping order with Bich, from the kind shopper, her English is very good and her shopping skills that day in Dong Hoi were amazing. Of course, it was to be expected that there were lots of things she couldn’t get so she was sending me photos of alternative produce and asking lots of useful questions. At this point I was still unsure how we would get the delivery from Dong Hoi, given that I couldn’t get there to get a PCR test without form completions and permissions from the head man, so this would be a good test. I was told that the shopping was complete, took our helper’s bank details and said it would be arriving this afternoon – we chanced our luck and asked for some paracetamol, imodium and Diclofenac too. The total spend was way over our budget but we might not get another ‘big shop’ for a while so Captain Caveman transferred the 1,230,000vnd (£39.36), happy we were getting most of the things we requested. Knowing I’d ordered more bread we finished off what we had left for lunch with homemade Baba Ganoush and peanut butter and wished we could get to Funny Monkeys to buy more peanut butter, which is so delicious. We were in the pool when we got a message to say she couldn’t get the Diclofenac and to check how many of the others to get, our shopper was so efficient and said the package would arrive in 30 minutes! When the delivery arrived Duyet unloaded it in the kitchen, downstairs, while I waited upstairs (following the social distancing rules) and he shouted up to say he had finished unpacking. It was amazing to see so much nice fresh food, even though I had over ordered on bread. Because we had been getting the little banh my baguettes at the market, I had asked for 6 – we got 6 long french stick baguettes from VinMart which are our favourites. It looked like the Gluten test was really going to be put through its paces over the next week as I’d also ordered 2 sandwich/toastie loaves which went in the freezer. Captain Caveman came down to help put stuff away and he was in charge of portion control on the chicken of which we had 8 chicken breasts, of a sizeable ration too. We couldn’t believe how quick and organised it had all been and we were so happy to have all this nice food. We drank beers and watched Somebody Feed Phil, the Venice episode, and it was a good day 6 of lockdown, which looked to be going from a 7 day stint to 14 days and would more than likely be announced tomorrow.
Captain Caveman had an online conversation with his boss via messenger where it was explained that I would not be getting my 2nd vaccination any time soon, due to the shortage of vaccines and that the priority people were no longer tourism. He was sorry he couldn’t do anything about it and offered help for both of us from one of his staff, for any assistance we might need during lockdown – this was very kind and we welcomed the offer of help!
For dinner we had chicken, white carrot and white cabbage in fresh baguette (we had loads of it) with a beer as we discussed how we would ask for help to get me out of Vietnam, hopefully I would be able to get a vaccine relatively quickly in Turkey!
August was definitely a bit more of a difficult month, starting with the visa/passport/leaving issues and the hope of getting my 2nd vaccine all the way throughout the month. Having no access to any money, bank cards expired and our income versus expenditure being terribly tight was definitely a worry and it meant having to make the tough decisions on how to spend what little money we had, sensibly. Meals and nights out were becoming less, due to low funds and, without any cave tours, Captain Caveman was constantly on his phone, sometimes getting involved with random posters on Facebook who needed advice or correct information – he spoke (wrote) more to them than anyone else! I planned a few times to leave but kept putting it off because of the hope of a 2nd vaccine, which Captain Caveman was extremely lucky to get. We finally ended up in a lockdown situation that we had no idea was coming and this blog was doing well, despite me not having that much to write about that might interest readers, these days.
One of my plans to leave Vietnam to go to Turkey and then the UK had failed, as all the things I needed to be in place (and out of my control) didn’t happen. By the end of August I knew there would be no 2nd vaccine for me, that I would not get another visa extension and that travel directly from Turkey to England would not be possible without paid quarantine facilities. However, I knew that once I could fly to Turkey, I could reapply for my residency and then request a 2nd (and probably) 3rd vaccine and I could access some money before working out how to get to the UK to see my family and friends. As the last day of August ended I still didn’t actually know what would happen, or where I would be for definite, in September and that was a very strange feeling.