Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ho's Revenge


Another day, another sunrise walk along the beach. This one was a bit of a challenge, actually, because I've been struck by a malady I'm calling Ho Chi Minh's Revenge -- I'll spare you the details but let's just say my intestines are not happy.

I'm surprised, because I'm very careful about what I eat when I travel -- no iced drinks, no salad, no unpeeled fruit, no street food. But something got through my defenses. Was it the fruit juice "welcome drink" at one of our hotels, perhaps cut with tap water? The Thai basil I stirred into my hot chicken noodle soup at an airport cafe? My martini from Monday night, no doubt shaken with ice? Who knows.

Fortunately, I think the worst of it has passed, and I suppose overall it hasn't been that severe. But I've felt pretty knotted up for the past 24 hours.


This morning I collected these plastic objects on the beach -- I think they're floats from fishing nets, but I'm not 100 percent sure. They're kind of cool, though. I think I'll keep them.

Some of you remarked on the amount of plastic on the beach in my photos yesterday. There is indeed a lot, at least in the areas that are not routinely swept by the hotels. It looks to me like about 75 percent of it is either single-use plastic bottles or fishing gear.

We're going to have to move toward a world where single-use bottles will either be made illegal or will be better managed (reused or redeemed for deposit), because something's got to give. Plastic bags, same thing. The question is, how much time is going to elapse, and how much environmental damage will we allow, before we take those steps?

(I wrestle with a sense of personal responsibility for this problem, because Dave and I have gone through countless plastic bottles of water since we've been here. And I still got Ho's Revenge!)


Things are not all doom and gloom, though. I found this beautiful purple shell on the beach this morning, and I found several bright striped snail shells that still had critters in them. (I threw those back.) I also saw numerous jellyfish and lots of crabs. So there is plenty of life out there.

In terms of seabirds I've seen one sandpiper, but otherwise nothing -- not even a gull. This part of the world just doesn't seem to have many.

So the plan for today is to lie around, finish my Ian Rankin book, have a beer or two on the beach in the shade of an umbrella, and take it easy in general. Tomorrow I hope to motivate myself to get into the city of Nha Trang.

19 comments:

  1. They were not fishing floats you found on the beach. They are in fact body plugs that the Vietnamese use whenever they are struck down by Ho's Revenge!

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  2. I love the shell. Feel better soon.

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  3. I'm sorry to hear you've been struck down by the revenge,, I hope today is a better day, that purple shell is beautiful, I'm still laughing from reading Yorkshire puddings comment!!!

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  4. Typical Mr Pudding !! Made me laugh anyway. I am enjoying your reports from your hols. Sorry to hear you have been "incapacitated"..hope you feel better soon. You are not missing much here......still ridiculously hot in SE. I just checked that temps where you are are .Much the same as here I think.

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  5. Sorry about your illness. It is no fun to be sick when you are away from home. I was in Peru a couple of weeks ago and about five people in my group got the same thing you have. I was super careful, they were super careful. I don't know why I didn't get it, but feel fortunate that I didn't! Feel better! I am enjoying reading of your adventures in SE Asia.

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  6. I'm sorry that you experienced the "revenge" and hope you are feeling better soon.

    For our trips to Mexico is past years we took Pepto Bismol tablets, one before each meal and that did help. I don't know if you could find those in Vietnam.

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  7. Perhaps it wasn't so much a "bug" you ingested as it was simply a case of such very different food. I think that happens in Mexico a lot- people just eat and drink quite differently than they do at home. But who knows? I'm really glad you're better.
    What did people do before bottled water? I mean, people have always traveled. We DO have to figure this out and I hope it's not too late.

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  8. I hope you feel better soon.

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  9. Intestinal bug like travelers and are becoming all too common.

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  10. no fun feeling sick on a vacation. at least it is short lived. Dave not affected? Strange that there aren't any sea birds. the float thingys are pretty cool. I'd keep them too.

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  11. Sorry to hear about the "revenge". It's so unpleasant to not feel well when you travel. It's only happened to me a couple of times but all I can think about when it does is "I wish I was home". That sea shell is gorgeous! Much prettier than the one I brought home from California.

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  12. You have some beautiful and unique beach finds to make a memory of your trip.

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  13. Sorry to hear of your unplanned visitor ... hope it's on its way out for good.

    We have a refundable deposit on all drink containers in NS - we pay 10 cents per container at the checkout (which means a $2.40 charge added to the cost of two dozen bottles of water, for example) and if we return them to any depot we get 5 cents back. Maybe that's why we never see used bottles here. Occasionally I see a guy around town poking through garbage bins collecting the bottles people have thrown away. Going door to door asking for bottle donations is also a popular way for kids' groups of all kinds to raise money. I think the deposit idea does encourage a more closed loop in the recycling process.

    I wouldn't want to ban plastic bottles because then we'd be back to glass, which is much heavier and raises the environmental cost of transporting them around every country. Since the transportation industry is the biggest contributor to CO2 emissions, banning plastic would come at a huge cost as well.

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  14. Really sorry to read that you have been struck by Ho's Revenge. Not a fun way to spend a vacation. Hope you are feeling well now. Love that purple shell. It's so beautiful. I think about plastic use so often. I wash and reuse the plastic bags we get at the coop for veggies. We bring our own bags to the store with us. We never buy water in plastic bottles. Still, the plastic mounts up... all kinds of food containers like yogurt, tofu, cheese, etc. With China starting to refuse our plastic refuse it's going to be a big bummer for the oceans.

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  15. keep 10 steps from the nearest loo at ALL TIMESs xxx

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  16. the floats are really cool, glad you are keeping them. Bummer about the illness- must have been the Martini, Dave did not have one and he is more well than you. Difficult to say but I am glad you are on the mend. Photos, as usual , are lovely.

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  17. Hope you are on the mend.

    Apart from that bit of bad news, I absolutely love your travel posts. Highlights for me.

    Re: plastic bottles in tropical destinations, my daughter who often travels for work in SE Asia has switched to tea, aka boiled water. Esp. green tea which apparently - so she claims - tastes great even cold and is even availbale as frozen tea.

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  18. It probably wasn’t the martini. The alcohol would have killed any germs, right? Glad you’re on the mend and better that it happened in a beautiful place you didn’t mind resting in.

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