Hello – it’s Bill here, sitting at the pool of the Metropole on a Sunday afternoon with Paige.
Stephen and Kim put us through hell physically, so a rest before three more weeks at high altitude is good.
The photo of me is at the Hot Toc, getting cleaned up for my birthday. Happy Birthday Scott and Kim.
Today I read in the local news that two tigers are terrorizing a village outside Hanoi. 150 elephants are becoming a problem out of Buon Mi Thout. We saw 12 one meter turtles being loaded in a truck down on the Mekong river and people are growing natural medicines right in their villages, because of the terrible snake problem in the jungle.
In Burma, smugglers who take Burmese cobras (not pythons) or illegal teakwood to China (near Dali. Preston-remember Mom wouldn’t let us go?) will take you back on their moto to Katha for $175. one way. This one hundred miles of no road through mountains, rivers and jungles. Why would people want to? Sneak into Burma because of the quality of life? Opium?
At any rate Amelia, it sounds like the WWF has been doing it’s job. However, in Pakistan it is hot, and the corrupt power authority can only supply power for 2 hours in some places. The new PM reacted immediately, ordering bureaucrats to avoid wearing socks. So there is not as much progress on the political front. Think it’s a universal problem?
We’ve been reminiscing about some of the special birthdays I’ve had…..21st and 22nd in Vietnam, later Malta, Baja, two in Chiina, one in Taiwan, San Cristobal de las Casas, Monte Carlo for the F1 gran prix and 60 days in Italy for my 60th……I’m pretty lucky.
So tomorrow we fly to Cheng Du PRC under our phony itinerary to begin the sneak into Tibet. This may be the best birthday yet. Well, of course it is. It’s time for a pink gin at the bamboo bar at the Metropole in Hanoi. That’s a tip of the hat to Robert Ruarke, who couldn’t get out of Africa long enough to visit here. But Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, George Orwell and Ho Chi Minh did so maybe I can conjure up the ghosts and have a talk,
It is my present intent to write again….when there is fodder for the keyboard. It maybe 13 November-Paige’s birthday.