Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monsoon Mount Fansipan, Play Station Pornography & Blind Mice

After making the accent to the final base camp on Fansipan, Vietnam's highest peak rising dramatically over Sa Pa, through a trail covered by a thick blanket of mist, shrouding the lush green trees and rocky mud flowing mountain streams with an errie "Blair Witch"/"Lord Of The Rings" veneer, I find myself shivering in the cold... A bare unforgiving wooden floor "supporting" my aching back, with nothing more than a few layers, a wafer thin sleeping bag and a few shots of rice wine inside me to keep me warm, monsoon rain hammers down relentlessly on the roof above as mice scamper past my head in the pitch black... 

The simple fact is that the night is utterly miserable... No amount of retrospective positive "New Labour" spin could ever distort my memory from the fact that this experience, in isolation, was anything other than bloody awful! 

The day in itself had been fantastic, heading off in the rain and fog with two French students who had been studying in Bangkok who I had met in the Sa Pa Tourist Office and a New Yorker who had hasily been added to our small group at the last minute by the 
hotel we had booked the guides through... 

But in a cold charmless cabin on the mountain, soaked to the bone, covered in mud, freezing and then the realisation that one of the people in our group was a total moron, whilst memorable, meant that the evening proved to be a challenge of patience and tolerance... Basically a nightmare! 

Our "extra" group member, a US Citizen, half Russian, half Norwegian, turned out to be a witless misoginist whose attitude to women seemed consistent with the tedious and boring gangsta rap that he so loved... No expert with women myself, especially with my recent track record, but even I know that the way to endear yourself to charming young Parisian girls is not to show them hardcore pornography when they enquire about your Portable Play Station... Or to repeatably ask where they are sleeping and insist with authority that all French girls are easy... I'm pretty bloody certain that this approach has never worked! 

Worse still, he is also apparently totally ignorant to the world that exists outside of his cretinous and primitive mind, making the maddening assumption that as a "guy" we are on the same level... 

"Ah, I think maybe we get some French kissing tonight, eh..." 

"Why don't you shut up." 

*What a Tool* 

It's rare evenings like this when for a moment you take a step outside from yourself, look down and wander what the fuck you are doing with your life! 

However, after finally reaching the summit and making the decent, through steep scattered rocks and streams, the satisfying reality that we made it to “the Roof of Indochina” kicks in and everything seems worth it... 

And that memory will beat any standard day at the office back home... Warts and all! 

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