In December of 2008 Brian Hartenstein and family left America for an adventurous life overseas to live and work throughout Asia, raising three daughters with a sense of wonder and awe at the possibility of the world. It is now 2016 and the adventure continues back home in Oregon. This blog remains as a time capsule to that period. Thank you so much to all our friends around the world. Please stay in touch. We miss you all!
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Backpacking with Kids through Vietnam
NORTH VIETNAM, December 27, 2012 (On the Road to Perfume Pagoda)
So we're in the back of the little street bus bumping and bouncing over potholes and dodging water buffalo and screaming chickens in the road.
There's a truck full of fresh faced soldiers shouldering AK-47's looking miserable huddled against a canvas wrapped truck bed and a whole live pig, big as a man, wrapped in chicken wire and squealing tied to the rump of a motorbike racing past.
Voices on the bus are scattered. German. Chinese. French. Cantonese. We're the only Americans and the girls are holding on, seemingly unfazed as their Nintendos blip and their little legs dangle over the vibrating bench seat.
The other passengers gave us the back. Either that or we took it. I'm not sure. Passengers usually glare whenever my children board. Be it a train or plane or local bus, the other travelers just want us out of their sight.
That's fine. Vietnam has other things to offer than the kindness of strangers. But pretty soon Rebekah starts to complain. Stomach aches and a little fever. Still two hours to go before we hit the river.
We're lucky there was road construction, because just moments after she said this she was puking on the side of the road. Luckier still we were out on the side of a hill when it happened. Probably bad meat in the stir-fry. The cockroaches should have tipped us off. Anyway... she felt much better afterward. Believe me, we all did.