Jan 9th – Day Six
On tour food can be hard to come by so when it is available we’re all pre-programmed to eat as much as possible, even if we don’t really want it. This habit is hard to break and we’re up early to cram ourselves with the free hotel breakfast. The choice of options is crazy, from Vietnamese noodles, to bacon, veal sausages, cake, waffles....you name it they have it, and we eat it (except maybe the veal sausages which is a step too far for me, but not for other carnivores in the band).
This whole thing however is pointless as we have no shows to do for a few days and food is everywhere here, but as i said the habit is hard to break. So after gorging ourselves we all go back to bed, but i can’t sleep, i never can it seems in the daytime so just sit exhausted watching Monsters Inc. A call from our manager beckons me to his room for a ‘surprise’. Turns out to be the first load of press coming in from the conference and Tiger Beer show. The crazy thing is there is article after article on websites, stories and photos in national newspapers as well as tv clips. I had no idea it was going to be this big and feel for about two seconds like i am Bono, then come back to earth when i open an e-mail letting me know i have gone overdrawn on my bank account in the UK. I don’t know Bono personally but i imagine he lacks experience of how to deal with e-mails like that. Well in case he reads this and finds himself in that situation i find the best method to be to click delete and imagine it never happened. No-one else saw it right? Then there’s no proof at all it ever happened.
We head out into town where we see a woman in a sun visor that looks like a massive welding mask. Underneath this she is still wearing sunglasses. The Vietnamese women apparently prize pale skin, but at what cost? Looking like Darth Vader all day (look in the background of the photo attached to this entry)?
I consider getting a suit made as it is SO cheap here, but think better of it and keep my Dong in my hand.
Si is suffering from back pain after a shitty flight so we go to the pharmacy to see what delights you can get here over the counter. What we end up buying looks suspicious and later when we meet up with our Vietnamese friend, PR girl and general heroine of any given moment, Houng, we ask her to tell us what is in it. After a text to a doctor friend we get a response pages long about all the dangerous side effects and the fact it hasn’t been properly tested yet.
I have no idea if after this Si took one, but he didn’t seem to be in any less pain when we had our Vietnamese street food dinner or when we ended up at one of the best bars in Ho Chi Minh. 17 Saloon...a two level western themed bar with cowboy and cowgirl staff. Nothing that exciting there you think. Well the real attraction is the band. Or 'The Human Jukebox' as i think of them as you just write a request on this piece of paper, hand it to a waitress and 10 minutes later you're hearing your song played perfectly, probably sung by a girl in hotpants and a guy looking like a death metal drummer stood on the bar. The set goes from Pantera to Tina Turner and we go from tired to wasted as they finish the night playing a Metallica and Megadeth medley. This is our first experience of such a band as we’re used to covers bands being tired old bankers or doctors having their weekend fun playing Brown Eyed Girl at a sensible volume. God, i’d love a bar like this back home but it’d never catch on, it’s nowhere near ‘cool’, far too much fun to be cool. The owner asks if we’d like to play and we’re just about halfway to the stage when it is explained to us that they want us to come back and do our own set when we get back from Cambodia. In our less than sober state we agree a time and date and just hope our manager caught the details because by this point all i am aware of is a face full of Si’s beard as he says “Jon, i love you!” again and again. Maybe he got the wrong Jon.