Instead of us waking up on Thursday 2nd September to news that we could go out again, I woke up to messages from my Hanoi driver, Danny suggesting we set off earlier and I check in to a hotel in Hanoi for the night. Because I am coming from an area in Directive 16 lockdown, it is not permitted for me to stay in Hanoi without doing quarantine when I arrive there, so this was not an option. He also wanted me to get my PCR test earlier so we could leave earlier which would also mean that when I land in Istanbul, it wouldn’t still be valid, because of the 72 hour rule. Eventually we got it all sorted out but it took a while, even though he has good English, so I only had time for bread and butter for breakfast. I watered the mushrooms and they had a new sprouting of what look like oyster mushrooms.
Captain Caveman had been told by his boss, that he could request help from one of his team, so Captain Caveman took him up on this kind offer and sent a message to explain my situation and to see if they could help me leave Vietnam, especially as now I knew I wouldn’t be getting my 2nd vaccine and my visa expires very soon.
Captain Caveman was outside and in the pool while I was on messenger being  reminded I needed to be gone in 7 days, because immigration were not able to extend my visa again, I explained I needed a PCR test doing for Monday and that I could not book a flight without one, but it got complicated and without an actual appointment I wasn’t prepared to just turn up. We had a late lunch of chicken, red cabbage (we had eaten all the white), white carrot and BBQ sauce on a (still fresh) baguette, followed by some delicious passion fruit. Surprisingly the housekeeping staff came in, masked up, and we sat outside on the balcony until they had finished cleaning our room – I was glad but didn’t expect them to still be working through the lockdown. We managed a swim in the pool and a cold beer but later it started to rain and a storm was brewing. We had grand plans for dinner but because of my excessive bread ordering we needed to eat it up. We decided to properly carb it up and I was going to do us some garlic bread, using the grill function of the microwave for the first time, Captain Caveman was going to make a pasta dish. I overcooked the first lot but it tasted pretty good, the second attempt was too soggy but tasted better and the third go was pretty spot on – 2 pieces of baguette with chopped garlic and cheap Vietnamese butter spread on, before grilling in the microwave for 3 minutes. By the time we had eaten all that we had no room for pasta and, obviously, I had a belly ache! I was shocked that all the gluten I was having wasn’t having a worse reaction to be honest, as I really was abusing the bread and beer far more than ever. We watched another episode of Somebody Feed Phil, this one was in Ireland, then went to bed, having survived the day 8 of the #STFAH Directive 16 restrictions. Tomorrow I knew I’d not be having pizza night but at this point I could actually picture myself being in Turkey, this time next week, then I could be eating a Turkish pide instead.

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