Jan 14th – Day Eleven
Too much time sitting around feeling sorry for myself has put me into a negative frame of mind so i head out with the other guys to the main market in town to get a feel for the local area and culture. Compared to Ho Chi Minh it is VERY quiet. The whole experience takes placed in hushed tones by comparison. As a result it is way less intimidating so i actually buy some gifts for friends and family back home. A grand total of £3 makes me look like i have totally spoilt them as money goes a long way over here.
After this we’re back doing yet another soundcheck at the Town Club where tonight’s show is going to be held. It runs amazingly smoothly and by the time the show finally comes round i’m feeling relaxed, positive and pretty sure we’ll blow them away. We get to play every song we have so are onstage for just over an hour and are surprised to see a whole load of English people in the crowd. One of which later seemed to follow Jon around a lot and later that night when we bumped into her again referred to herself as “the dirty scouser you met before.” Englsih can be such a charmingly beautiful language.
After we played a load of street kids came into the venue and did this break dancing display. The culture over here is that live events aren’t just one musical style all night but bands, DJ’s, dancing, live art, you name it, they incorporate it. Well these kids are really young, really good and amazingly polite. These are street kids, the kind of kids in the UK who you’d cross the street to avoid being spat at, robbed and stabbed, but here they are respectful, intelligent (no formal education and they speak English perfectly) and skilled yet are basically homeless. Another humbling experience.
We’re taken after the show to a club called The Heart Of Darkness. After the initial gloom, smoke and then blinding laser lights (they love lasers here) my eyes adjust and i see lots of 50 year old western men surrounded by beautiful young girls. This is my first encounter with the reality of the phrase ‘sex tourism’ and i have to say its even bleaker than i thought. There’s no jokes to be made here, its just a sad state of affairs that the economy is such that this is the only way for people to be able to afford to live and these disgusting men (some of which are only about 20) seem to take full advantage of it with no moral difficulty. Maybe i judged it wrong and i was told by a local that the situation is “more complex than you understand”, but i couldn’t help feeling a little repulsed. Oh and despite the “bang bang sucky sucky ten dollar” image we have of these situations its not like that at all. These are usually pretty smart, intelligent girls who’d be achievers back in the west. Anyway, enough preaching.
Drinks, discuss set, decide to change it a little for tomorrow’s show then hit the hay.