Wednesday 20th October was a wonderful day, spent with my parents and some friends. The first exciting thing that happened that morning was that I got a message from our friend, the filmmaker, who came to Vietnam to make a documentary about Phong Nha. He gave me some tentative dates for the film festivals where his film would hopefully be screened in 2022 and I made a note of them – how amazing it would be to go to see something like this! It might also be a chance for me to meet up with Captain Caveman and watch him, his colleagues and our friends in what I was sure would be a work of art.
I didnt bother with any breakfast as I was faffing about with the left over hotpot mixture and more layering of potatoes, this time with butter on, so I could pop it on while we were out. The suitcase lady had asked to meet me to have a look at it so I took it round to Lukka bar and ordered myself a tea. The nice lady turned up on a bicycle, with a dog and was unsure if she wanted to buy the case, even though she needed one to go back to England with, in the end I managed to sell it to her but it was quite funny watching her try to figure out how to get it back to her hotel, with a bicycle and a dog, but I couldn’t help as I was cutting it fine for my next adventure. I’d arranged for us to go on an afternoon boat trip with Captain Boris (aka Basrı) and his wife, Rebecca. Sarah had also taken the afternoon off work, at the last minute, so that she could come too and my parents came round to mine dead on time as they were looking forward to our boat trip. We arrived at the boat early, Sarah was already there and we were joined by a really nice bunch of people, who were friends of the boat owners and Sarah. The order of the day was to eat, drink and relax and the Captain Boris trips sure know how to treat their customers well. I wasn’t even too upset that I wouldn’t be able to swim because of not being able to get my cyst wet (apart from showering, obviously). We went to Çandır lake first and the sun was out as we nibbled on snacks and sipped an alcoholic beverage.

Quite a few people got in the water for a swim, including ma & pa who were larking about like a couple of teenagers. Next, Basrı took the boat to the sheltered side of the beach where Andrea got a few of us dancing on the sand at the waters edge.

I had started on white wine with my parents and later went on to red as Rebecca filled the table with the most amazing spread I’d seen on a boat – I was in cheese heaven! There was so many different cheeses, fruit, including fresh figs and dates, crackers and bread and I my stomach handled it all absolutely fine. Quite a few boats had got themselves stuck on a sandbank and Basrı had to help out, we even rescued a damsel in distress who had been left stranded on the beach. On the way back we had such a laugh, Andrea even taught me the meringue and it was such a lovely afternoon with plenty of wine.

When we got dropped off we should have gone home and stayed in however it was Open Mic night with Onur at Heybe’s which we had missed last week so we decided to meet back there after getting our warm clothing on. As it turned out one of the couples from the boat trip was having a drink at Heybe’s so I joined them while waiting for ma & pa to join us. After another couple of glasses of wine, on top of the 6 I’d already had with Captain Boris, I wasn’t shy at getting up for a singsong with Onur. This reminded the couple that they were meant to be somewhere else and they left. Debbie (Darling) did a quick cameo appearance singing ‘I’m leaving on a jet plane’, Sarah joined us and even she got up to sing with Debbie (Darling) or me. In the end Dad and I nailed House of the Rising Sun together, it was just a pity that all of the other customers had left! Onur even sat and did an acoustic version of Losing my Religion at our table and we ended up leaving Sarah there.
We’d had so much fun and when I got in, my hotpot was still warm in the slow cooker so I had some before bed.

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