It was time to get my next vaccine on Monday 21st February and my appointment was 10am. On waking, I read the news that Vietnam will open to international tourists on 15th March and visitors can get a 30 day visa, more here:
Vietnam had also put a price cap on Covid tests.
Sarah called for me and we walked to the local clinic where we had a short wait in the Monday morning queue. Once inside, Sarah got her booster but I was told to wait until March even though I’d had my last one in November. On the way back Sarah had work issues to prattle on about so we decided to go to Jiks for breakfast. When we got there it was closed so we went to Dal for a drink. That was also closed but the beauty salon told us to wait 5 minutes for the owner to come. Sarah had to wait for her coffee as the machine wasn’t on but I got my 20 lira hibiscus tea first. Back home I had buttered toast for breakfast and popped a beef bourguignon in the slow cooker. Later that afternoon I went to get some potatoes to go with dinner, only to find that the quality of potatoes in 4 different shops was really bad. I decided I would have to forgo the potatoes and walked back home along the river. I noted the price of taxis at the rank as, they too, had gone up again recently. As I got to Tez bar I saw Penny and Phil having a drink so I joined them for a wine and a chat. Before I’d finished my first wine, Mark arrived to collect his bag from the bar and joined us for a drink. Predictably, we got chatting about how I didn’t have a bicycle and that I was missing Bluey. Penny told me they had a spare pink bike, not dissimilar to Bluey, which I could borrow. Mark let me have a go on his electric bicycle, I only went round the block on it but it was super fast with the electric on and very easy to ride.
As Mondays tend to turn in to ‘one of those days’ for me, this one was no different. The 4 of us went back to mine for beef bourguignon, having been given 4 potatoes from Tez. Phil picked up the white wine for them and I already had 2 bottles of red wine in the house. We had a good laugh, I attempted Yorkshire puddings, forgot about the potatoes and the night went on until 1am. I showed Penny and Phil round the apartment and mentioned about my bracing and slats on the bed in the main bedroom being broken. Mark and Phil had the mattress up and were looking at what needed fixing. Mark said he would leave his bike here and come back with his tools to fix it for me, tomorrow. We had to call Gürkan, the taxi driver, to take the 3 of them home and we were all very merry but I had the promise of a loan of a bicycle.

For some unknown reason I thought it was Pancake Day on Tuesday 22nd February! I woke up with an empty but messy apartment and was feeling slightly delicate. In the kitchen there was evidence of how much we had drunk when we got back to mine as well as every pot in the house having been used. I made myself a pancake with lemon and honey, had a cup of Earl Grey tea then got ready for some exercise. Zumba Gold with Maria was at noon, in the upstairs room above the gym and, this week, I managed to do most of it in time to the music.
In the afternoon Mark came to collect his bicycle, he brought a battery for the clock which he had taken down to fix. We took the mattress off the big bed and he fixed the frame that was broken – it still needed something doing to the brace but would be good enough to hold. As it was ‘Pancake Day’ I made spinach and cheese filled pancakes for dinner before going out. Mark and I went to Lukka bar and, although I wasn’t going to drink alcohol today, we shared a bottle of red wine. It wasn’t a late one though and Mark cycled home at a reasonable hour.

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