Captain Caveman had booked a car to take us on a shopping trip on Saturday 25th June. It wasn’t my idea of something good to do with a day off but Captain Caveman does enjoy shopping much more than I do. We were in the car and I was about to discuss my declined visa extension situation when Captain Caveman noticed a missed call from his boss. It’s not uncommon for this to happen on a day off early in the morning, so I wasn’t surprised. Captain Caveman was asked if he could be ready to go to do day 2 of a Hang Va tour, to cover for the Vietnamese tour guide who was on his way out. I thought we would have to turn the car around and go back but Captain Caveman pointed out that he couldn’t do it. This was the first time I’d ever witnessed Captain Caveman say no to one of his bosses asking him to do extra but, of course, I was pleased.
In Dong Hoi we got the driver to drop us off at Mr Bull’s for breakfast where we ordered Bo Ne, I had mine without eggs. It was delicious but I sensed Captain Caveman’s mind was still on the Hang Va issue. The operations manager, called him to say it had been sorted but they had sent in Tatas to cover, so now could Captain Caveman cover for Tatas on her pre-briefing duties. He agreed as they were both on the same Son Doong tour tomorrow. This meant he had to be at work an hour earlier this evening, at Son Doong Bungalows. I was definitely getting an idea of how busy Captain Caveman had been these last few months and I knew he was going to be very disappointed that I wasn’t able to get a visa extension without having to leave Vietnam.

Our first shop on the shopping trip was the Co-op Mart, the biggest of the supermarkets in Dong Hoi, and it was busy. We spent a lot of money, I had forgotten to bring the shopping list but I think we remembered most things between us. The next place was VinMart, which is now called WinMart, and has new products in. I was so excited that they had small rice cookers for less than £20 so we bought one to take back to Turkey. Next stop was for tampons, also tricky to find in Vietnam, which they sell in the Medicare shop but were 174,000vnd (£6.26) for 2 boxes. Our last stop was the wine shop where Captain Caveman came back to the car with a box containing 3 bottles of white wine and 2 bottles of Bombay Sapphire gin for a bargain total of £50.
We were meant to be spending some time in Dong Hoi and had planned to go to Tree Hugger for lunch and White Russian cocktails. Captain Caveman wasn’t in the mood now and suggested we just go straight back home.

It’s been a while since Ive done a big shop so here’s what we spent in the 2 supermarkets.
£1 = 27,768 Vietnamese Dong (VDH)

Co-op Mart supermarket:
1 can of ginger ale 9,500
Baby wipes 12,300
2 onions 15,774
Bamboo Cotton buds 20,500
3 carrots 21,886
1 packet of pasta 22,500
Washing up liquid 22,500
1 packet of Grape haribos 25,200
Sugar free Milk 27,200
Passion fruit 30,751
4 cans of tonic 31,200
2 red peppers 32,347
3 mangos 39,063
Frozen sweetcorn 43,600
Mushrooms 50,500
2 chicken breasts 50,580
1 Tupperware 53,000
1 Tupperware 59,000
1 pomelo 59,988
Frozen strawberries 63,800
Tin foil 69,900
1 bottle of olive oil 130,000
3 cartons of orange juice 132,900
2 bottles of red wine 306,000

Total spent 1,355,189vnd (£48.79)

WinMart supermarket:
2 small cans of coke 15,800
2 baguettes 19,000
3 salted lemon drinks 20,700
1 teacake loaf 22,900
Pineapple 29,80
1 plastic bottle 33,500
Pork mince 54,264
Pork mince 56,662
Frosties cereal 54,700
6 Strongbow ciders 108,600
1 rice cooker 544,000

Total spent 959,926vnd (£34.56)

I was surprised at how cheap the bottles of Strongbow were as in Dalyan it was getting difficult to get even Turkish cider for less than £3 per bottle.

On the way back to Elements we came up with a Plan B and C for me and we decided I would apply for another e-Visa. I already had a flight booked from DaNang to Singapore, used as proof of leaving Vietnam after 1 month, so it made sense to take that. If another 30 day e-Visa was granted I would come back to Vietnam the next day and carry on as we were. If I didn’t get another visa then I would still come back in on the free 15 day visa exemption, get my stuff and go back to Turkey, or England perhaps.
While I applied for my e-Visa, Captain Caveman unpacked the shopping and put it away. I got confirmation of my visa application, paid $25, and was told I would have notification by Wednesday. In the afternoon we didn’t really have much leisure time as we were busy with ‘Operation get me back in to Vietnam’ and Captain Caveman had to unpack, pack and prepare for work. I was lucky that Captain Caveman is so organised and calm in a crisis because I had been ready to have a mini meltdown.
For dinner I had a bit of a concoction; yesterday I’d made tortilla but the frying pan was a bit iffy and it had stuck so it was more of a ‘deconstructed Spanish omelette’, I’d only made it to use up the potatoes, onions and eggs and had ended up with 2 in the fridge. I fried some of it up like a posh hash brown with some bacon and pickled white cabbage. It definitely wouldn’t win any awards for how it looked but it tasted great. For afters, I had fresh pineapple and passion fruit which was so good. I also noticed that the WinMart had charged us for 2 lots of pineapple but we only had one.
When Captain Caveman returned from his briefing, having had to deal with a late joiner and more issues than he’s used to because that would’ve been Tatas’ job, he brought booze! His last group were disappointed that he was unable to do the gala dinner with them and had saved him some of their bottle of whisky – he said they were a really nice bunch of people. He kindly shared it with me and we listened to Kate’s Ultimate Boat Trip Playlist which she had shared on Facebook. There were some brilliant songs on there and it was about 24 hours long, I wondered if we could do a boat trip to celebrate when we returned to Dalyan and do the entire playlist.

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