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As you may have gleaned from my recent photos of the day, I was in Vietnam last week, as I had to renew my visa for Cambodia again, and used it as an excuse to see some friends and breathe some cool mountain air. The photo album, which includes Saigon and Dalat, is online and ready for viewing. You can find it here. Enjoy!

ABC Bakery snack, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

ABC Bakery snack, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I found a new bus company to go to Saigon with this time around. And while you might think I love them for their ‘finest gentle taste’ (this is the breakfast they give you—basically a sweeter hot-dog-bun-type bread with some sweet green bean paste at the bottom) or their wide comfy seats with only three across the aisle so if you sit on right, as I did for both legs of the trip, you get to sit by yourself.

No. What I love most about RAC Express Bus is that when I forgot something at home in the morning and was asking if I would have enough time to hop on a moto and go home, get it and come back, and was in negotiations with two fellow passengers to watch my backpack and not let the bus leave without me (it was ten minutes until departure time but the bus was nowhere in sight, so I was sure I would have enough time), the uniformed bus company employee—the one whom I’d assumed was the bus driver and who’d given us the gentle bread and water upon arrival at the sidewalk booth (no bus stations here)—insisted on driving me himself. In the company minivan. He actually came over and got me as I was about to get on a moto, opened the passenger side door for me and that was that. Now that is above-and-beyond customer service I dare you to match…anywhere!

The upshot: We were gone not more than 10 minutes, but when we arrived almost everyone was already on the bus—everyone Except the young couple faithfully watching my backpack on the sidewalk. And I learned I wasn’t with the bus driver at all (which I’d seen as my safety valve). But…a happy ending.

(Please note I am refraining from commenting on the ad on the sidewalk cafe table on which the gentle bread was placed, but have no doubt I placed it there on purpose.)