We were woken up early by the loudspeaker announcements at 5.30am on Sunday 5th September, reminding us (as if we could have forgot) that we were to #STFAH. It was day 11 of the lockdown and we were doing quite well, all things considered, maybe it was the excitement of me leaving next week that kept us going. More mushrooms had grown overnight and Captain Caveman made us mushrooms on toast, a new first for me. Duyet had managed to get us some potatoes and tomatoes from the local market, which was good. I also got to play with Carrot, the pup, who was getting bigger now, but wasn’t good at posing for selfies.
The rest of the day was spent trying to sort out my actual leaving and putting my escape plan in to place. Captain Caveman got a phonecall to say that, in order for me to pick up my negative PCR certificate tomorrow, (which must be done in person) I needed to have a negative quick test to go to Dong Hoi. Even though this seemed rather odd to me, Captain Caveman could see the Vietnamese logic and agreed that I would go tomorrow with some other people, to get one done. Unfortunately Oxalis couldn’t get permission for me to leave our village to go to the hospital in Hoan Lao to get the quick test so he asked us if we could ask Bich to help us get that. We asked and gave my passport to Duyet who then had to go to the People’s Committee to get the completed permission form, which we had to give the full name of the Oxalis driver and licence plate of the vehicle that I would be going there and back on. We didn’t have much time to make lunch in between all the phonecalls and faffing about so we had hot dogs and onions on sliced bread which I didn’t realise we had almost no tomato ketchup or mustard left so they were a bit rubbish – we ate them though! We hoped that all was still on track for me to get my paperwork tomorrow, then leave for Hanoi on Tuesday so I packed my suitcases, including my hand luggage as tomorrow would be a very busy day. I was a bit peeved that with all the toing and froing today we hadn’t even had chance to go in the pool and as everything seemed to have come to a point where we couldn’t do any more but wait, the rains came! We drank beers and watched the storm and had a marvellous dinner of beef stew with potatoes, using the 3 carrots which Bich had given us from her fridge – the dish would have gone nicely with a red wine. Oh well, this time next week I’d probably be drinking a whole bottle of Tılsım (Turkish wine) to myself!

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