Banana Bob

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Heard from Bob tonight; although there was no opportunity to tell him about my excellent recovery and Aki's triumph at the Terry Fox. He is in Dien Bien Phu, "a lovely small town" he started. "But I have a problem".
(intake breath).

He only has a 100,000 Dong note which has a mark on it. Apparently this has rendered it unacceptable anywhere in town. His US dollars aren't accepted here either . . . and the bank isn't open on Sundays. Credit cards are not used nor cash advances available. There is no ATM's (although he finds out that one may be coming in about 3 months).

While he has a hotel for tonight, he cannot do anything without cash; attractions have (albeit) very small fees, there are broadband internet cafes all over (50c an hour), but without cash . . .

Of more concern is that after his cycle today he cannot afford to eat . . . the hotel stretches to tea, but that's it. Luckily, on his descent into the town he bought 15 bananas at a roadside stall for about 20c. He could do a lot worse than have a night on the bananas.

On a somewhat dodgy phone line, he outlined the three plans he had thought of; he had enough money to catch a bus back to Ha Noi, although this is a 16 hour journey, and he suffered through countless S-bends on today's leg, and has also been over that ground. Plan B involved busing it to Sapa, and a train to Hanoi. Plan C was a tentative ability to fly there, however the feasibility of this was uncertain.

A bit of internet research seems to indicate that I can wire some cash there with Western Union tomorrow morning which should allow him to see things in the town and eat soon! The list of locations is rather tricky to interpret from this end, with many consonants and few vowels. All I can do is try to fix this up first thing tomorrow morning ~ with a 3 hour time difference and all things going well, he should have access to cash at 7:30am in time for breakfast.

Fingers crossed.
Feel even healthier.

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