I’m in Vietnam!! Currently I’m at a great-aunt’s house in Nha Trang. But through the past week, I’ve traveled from Saigon, Nha Trang, Ninh Hoa, and Ninh Phuoc. It’s only been a few days, but I’ve traveled so much already.
First of all, the plane ride here was the greatest stretch of time I’ve ever experienced. A full 23 hours of hell. I like flying, but I cap it out at 7 hours. Maybe 8. The flight from Boston to Japan was *thank the Lord* a direct flight. I’m pretty sure it was long enough that the muscles in my lower limbs started to decay. Is that called muscular atrophy?
When we finally got to Saigon, my aunt and uncle picked me up. We wrapped all of our luggage in boxes as if we were moving. And then we packed them up and wrapped them in packing tape. No way anyone could open these 8 boxes without us knowing. Yet the airport was stupid enough to try. The reason we wrap things up so tightly is because it’s not uncommon that the airport will take your stuff. Now I don’t want to be making any incorrect assumptions, but let me tell you.
Of the 8 boxes we packed, 2 were opened. In the bottom of the boxes, a square was cut. One big enough to stick your arm in. When we were packing, we filled each box. It was like a game of tetris. The max weight limit is 50 lbs (which is 23 kg I think) so we filled each box to 48lbs max.
The boxes that were opened contained medicine and other things, bottles of calcium pills and etc being the main item missing. When you stick your arm in, there was an empty mass inside. Suspicious? I think felony.
Obviously customs has to check boxes and that’s understandable, but it makes no sense to try and be quiet about it if you’re gonna rip the box open. Some of our boxes had been opened by US Dept of Homeland Safety, like our box of lobsters (they’re a delicacy in Vietnam). Which is totally cool. Check what you gotta do. They at least re-sealed their boxes with tape labeled “United States Department of Homeland Security” or whatever it is. The Vietnamese airport however, well I have no nice words.
My mom was outraged, she spent a sum of money buying medicine for elders in the community. So she went over to the help desk and filed a complaint. The workers put the box on the scale, but they threw it from some height with excessive force and due to some physics, the box measured out to exactly 23 kg. Outrageous right? My mom called bull and stepped on the scale herself which also measured to 23 kg. Now, I know Mama Nguyen is petite, but no way in the any universe is she only 23 kg.
Vietnamese airports are the definition of sketch.