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Feeling some gadget and technology love right now. Just used Skype from my EeePC to ring the 8000 Reverse service (1800 Reverse in Australia) to reverse charge a call back to Westpac to sort out stuff with the stolen credit card, as mums card got cancelled as well but she was having issues talking to Westpac.

I couldn’t seem to free call the 1800 reverse number for Australia from Skype even though the Skype site says it should be free, so I dialled the United States one (which I know for sure is free from Skype), then connected the call to Aus. Line was pretty crappy, but we got by. Can’t really complain seeing that I was using free-wifi, free voip and call collecting.

Deciding whether we really need an emergency replacement card. Mastercard can arrange a emergency one for free, but thinking it might be all okay.

Anyways it’s train time tonight as we’re heading up to Nha Trang. Till next time…

Some photos, maybe even a video, 10,000 dong beers and bargaining (edited with video now)

Yep maybe even a video too if my Vimeo upload worked… think my comp is running an old version of Flash so I can’t actually see the video uploaded…

And yep Saigon beers for 10,000 dong (bit less than 60 cents) a bottle… score! Tastes pretty good too. Though as with any place in SE Asia, being a tourist pretty much means a two tier cost system. E.g.first beer of evening turned out to be 20,000 dong a bottle but at the dinner place it was only 10,000! Thinks we will have to check the cost of beer before siting down on small stools now…

Oh and the cost of fresh fruit is always a hard one… obviously bargaining for food is a debatable one, and I’ve often worked on the theory that if I get to eat tropical fruit for way less than the cost in Australia then it can’t be too bad either way. Though this evening showed that food itself can be negotiated. On the way back from Cu Chi today the guide bought 1KG of bananas at 6,000 dong/KG. So it was amusing in the evening, when we were looking at fruit before dinner but didn’t really want to buy it till after eating. Curiously asking a couple of stores the price, we then continued walking except they wanted to bargain. Mangosteen for 20,000 dong/KG! And yes mum it does taste very nice… mmm we’ve bought like 2KG in 2 days

Anyways gotta sleep, so here’s the pics and vid:

Cu Chi (not sure what I was trying to do with the finger pose though?)
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Let’s drink a beer:
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Dinner:
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Traffic:

Late night debacles, Cu Chi tunnels

Lets say Saturday night wasn’t all that great. Somewhere along the lines my dad got pick pocketed. He’d placed his wallet into his pocket instead of his waist bag and it got lifted somewhere. We’re pretty sure we know where it happened too thinking back on it.When we were walking to dinner, a motorbike cut in and hit my dad pushing him into two ladies. Then the motorbike ‘recorrected’ itself but instead of going straight, cut back out (which is odd now that we think about it). Reckon the bike hitting him was a decoy to let the women pilfer his pockets.

So we had to rule out the other options so backtracked a bit, then came to the conclusion. Had to do some running around making calls to cancel credit cards and ATM cards though. ANZ was easy to cancel, let’s say Westpac was a little more confusing. Trying to find out now where/how hard it is to get a police report for the insurance claim, though I think insurance only covers some of it. We will see.

Oh and along the way backtracking, had the classic taxi metre scam – except that I spotted it and gave it to him – which he basically admitted by turning of the metre and negotiating another fare whch was way to much. It ended with me giving him some money (less than the metre) then giving him a mouthful (which I don’t think he understood anyway) and jumping out the taxi.

Other than that it was the Cu Chi tunnels today. That was pretty cool. Didn’t fire a gun though, but they were really really loud! And I don’t like loud noises…

So tomorrow it’s another day here then on the night train to Nha Trang, hopefully some cooler weather too.
Trawled through the markets in the afternoon, and was somewhat amazed at how much things are inflated for the tourists – at least 50%!

Totally hot in Saigon!

So we’ve made it to Saigon and it’s totally hot/humid that we’re currently hanging in s coffee shop because it’ got air conditioning and free wifi.

Flight over was good. Was on a 777-300ER and it was pretty awesome. Screens the size of an upmarket netbook (at least 10″) in-seat power and powered USB ports in economy!

So today we’ve kind of been walking about – went to Ben Thanh market and the War Remnants Museum. We somehow didn’t pick up a map from the airport, so have been aimlessly navigating for part of the day – we know we’re heading in the correct direction but have no idea where until we hit one of the roads listed in the LP. Oh and bought our train tickets for the first to legs. Wasn’t too bad bought it from the train station store in the backpacker-ish area so it was $70USD for both of us which was less than I expected.

Tomorrow it’s out to the Chu Chi tunnels… I think’ll I’ll sleep well tonight.

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I think this one is a little blurry?
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All packed and ready to roll (fly…)

According to WolframAlpha that is approximately 1 day 18 hours 54 minutes and 26 seconds from now…

Have just the day of work tomorrow then I have Fri off in lieu of last weekend, which is good since I was originally going to have to lug my stuff to work then head from there to the airport.

Will try and blog on the trip, actually it would be rather odd if I didn’t right?

Anyways time for sleep, another day awaits and then it’s holiday time!

WD TV Live

Got myself the WD TV Live HD Media Player on the weekend after hunting through many a JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith store with no luck. From my quick play around with it I’m quite impressed. Haven’t set it up in my room yet though as I need to rearrange my power cables.

I got the device primarily to connect my Mac to my TV, as since I’ve had the Mac I haven’t been able to output to my TV as I don’t own the correct cables. Whilst the WD TV Live probably does cost a bit more than just getting cables it is a pretty nifty device as it supports lots of audio and video formats and has a network port so you can access network shares as well.

Might do a more detailed review of the setup once I have it all configured properly… which quite possibly could be next year seeing I’m leaving on a jet plane in 11 days…