vendredi 30 mai 2014

All things set, update on situation

After a bit of struggle and a lot of waiting, all the administrative side is now finished.

Just got a call from the embassy telling me the insurance had confirmed the incineration authorization and booked the incineration that will happen today (30th of Mai 2014) at 18:00.

So I can now go to it and prepare my exit of Vietnam. Next I will be going to Singapore and Malaysia for about a week and then come back to France bringing back the ashes to the parents.

Which basically means I am stopping my trip. I wanted to continue and actually tried, but as a friend stated, it is hard to go to places and do things alone when you had planed them with someone else.

Thank you to all those who messaged me for support, it was greatly appreciated and much needed!

lundi 26 mai 2014

What happened and what's next

This article is to answer the growing number of requests I receive to get some explanations.

It started for us on Thursday 22nd of Mai, when Manny starts feeling worse all of a sudden. He hasn't got much appetite and ended up throwing up 6 times during the night. On our side, each time he goes to throw up seems to be really painful. And indeed, on the next morning (Friday 23rd), he clearly states he can't take the bus for Halong bay and needs to go see the doctor.

A taxi cones to bring him to the hospital. After discussion, he tells us to go on to Halong bay, he will join us as soon as he is healed. We all believed at that time it was just a small little illness that a medication and a good night sleep after would fully heal.

We kept contact by calling as we both had local Sim cards for Vietnam. It was complicated as the staff didn't speak English in this hospital. They did a battery of tests on him and told him after 5 hours that he had a problem with his intestines. He may need to get operated so was going to get transfered to the French hospital in Hanoi.

Arrived in Hanoi hospital in the evening. Over there, they confirmed the need of an operation that was going to be performed on the next day (Saturday 24th). After a last message on Saturday morning, we didn't get any answer from calls or SMS we sent him.
When arriving in Hanoi on Sunday 25th afternoon, we called him again at 16:45, just to have a member of the hospital staff answer to tell us he had just died.

When going to get some explanation at the hospital, all we could get was :"intestinal occlusion and septic shock". I managed to get contact with his parents, obviously shocked as well, to start all the paper work and procedures needed for Manny.

On Monday the 26, we took the day to handle the administrative stuff and try get more information at the hospital. We couldn't get any information from the hospital as we are not from the family, even the embassy could not access the medical files.
We however could get his stuff back. The valuables will be brought back to his parents in France by Julian, going back on Wednesday the 28th of Mai. The rest (mainly his clothes), at his parents request, will be given to charity.
The paperwork also nearly got finished, and a decision has been taken for the body. He will be incinerated in Vietnam at a yet unknown date. I will try to assist the incineration, but please forgive me if I can't, I'm not sure I will be able to handle this alone. I will then collect the ashes from the embassy to bring them back with me to France and give them to his family.

For those asking about the body, we went to the mortuary to see it. I tried to take a good look to be able to answer if you have questions about it. If any questions about it, you can contact me directly.

As for me and what I am doing next, I still don't know. I don't know either when I am going to go back to France. I will dedicate these next days to answer this question.

dimanche 25 mai 2014

Goodbye Manny, the smiling man

I have been travelling with Manny from the start. Most of you already knew him, other will have noticed that a weird guy often appeared on my photos.
Most people who met him agree he is a very friendly and smiling man. I can myself add he is very open, always keen for adventure and ready to help people out.

On this 25th of May 2014, at the French hospital of Hanoi, Manny died during an operation for an intestine occlusion.

All I can hope is for him to have had a happy life, though it was short. It was an honor to share a bit of travel adventure with him. Sharing the good times as the hard ones, sometimes angry towards each other, but always good friends!

RIP Manny.

jeudi 22 mai 2014

Meeting some locals in Kratie

After visiting Siem Reap, we first had planned to go to Sihanoukville, but it seemed a little to party touristy for us, so we swapped for Kratie. Great little place, had a fantastic stay at our guesthouse and people where very friendly all around. Best moment when, during a bike ride, was talking to 2 girls going to school on one bike (15-16 years old).
- Hello
- What is you name? (Marc)
- Where do you come from? (France)
- How old are you? (27)
- What's your job? (IT Engineer)
- Are you married? (No)
- What's your phone number?
So cute, and they were trying their best English to communicate with me (and actually managed pretty good). They had a full minute of talking together in Cambodian, as if trying to find a word in English, to then turn to me with a devastating look:"You are very handsome! Handsome and lovely!". I nearly fell off my bike.
They even invited me to visit their school! I unfortunately have no photo of them as they had to go straight to class, but some other students made me visit.

Après avoir visité Siem Reap, notre premier plan était d'aller à Sihanoukville, mais l'endroit avait l'air un peu trop touristique fêtard, donc on a changé pour Kratie. Merveilleux petit endroit, on était dans une auberge géniale et tout le monde était sympathique. Le meilleur moment étant lorsque, lors d'une balade a vélo, discutant avec 2 lycéennes allant à leur école sur un vélo, j'ai eu la conversation suivante:
- Bonjour
- Comment tu t'appelles ?
- D'où viens tu ?
- Quel age as tu ?
- Quel est ton métier ?
- Est ce que tu es marié ?
- Quel est ton numéro de téléphone ?
Juste trop mignon, elles se donnaient à fond pour réussir à parler anglais. A un moment, elles prennent une minute complète pour parler entre elles en Cambodgien, comme si elles cherchaient des mots anglais, pour finalement se tourner vers moi avec un regard dévastateur et de me dire :"You are very handsome! Handsome and lovely!". J'ai failli tomber de mon vélo.
Elles m'ont même invité a visiter leur école. Je n'ai malheureusement pas de photos d'elles puisqu'elles ont dû aller directement en cours, mais d'autres élèves ont pris la relève pour me faire visiter.

13 year old students who made me visit the school / Les élèves de 13 ans qui m'ont fait visité l'école

Physics classroom / Salle de cours pour la physique

samedi 17 mai 2014

Welcome to Siem Reap

Unavoidable, we had to go visit Angkor. There, we realized it wasn't only Phnom Penh but a general fact, Cambodian girls are really cute, I mean all Cambodian girls are. Also, we were with Aien on the first day, then she had to go back to Malaysia; and seeing 3 guys walking in the street, we started getting a lot of offers for "massage lady boum boum" (about every 50 meters).

Inévitable, il fallait qu'on passe visiter Angkor. Sur place, on a pu confirmer un point remarqué à Phnom Penh, les cambodgiennes sont jolies, je veux dire toutes les cambodgiennes le sont. Sinon, on était avec Aien le premier jour, mais elle a dû rentrer en Malaisie; et d'un seul coup, voyant 3 hommes marcher dans les rues, on a commencé à se voir offrir des "massage lady boum boum" a peu près tous les 50 mètres.

It looks like we're in a zoo...

Floating village

Respect of the environment is the key in Cambodia, that's why they use green technology / Dans le plus pur respect de l'environnement

mercredi 14 mai 2014

Welcome to Phnom Penh

Arrived in Cambodia, first went to visit Phnom Penh. Very nice place, specially the guest house where we met great guy who shared on the life in Cambodia and his own experience. Education, work, marriage, generation gap, politics etc.

Premier arrêt au Cambodge aura été Phnom Penh. Ville très sympa, surtout l'auberge dans laquelle on a rencontré un employé génial qui nous a expliqué un peu sur la vie au Cambodge et son expérience personnelle. Éducation, travail, mariage, conflit de génération, politique etc.

View from our hostel's balcony / Vue depuis le balcon de l'auberge 

Scooters don't seem to like rain / Les scooters n'ont pas l'air d'aimer la pluie

And kids don't seem to care much / Mais les enfants n'ont pas l'air plus perturbé que ça

Visiting the killing fields, strong experience / visite des killing fields, une expérience très émouvante

Royal Palace
Lin, our awesome staff, works 16h a day, no weekends / Lin, employé de l'auberge, travail 16h par jour, pas de weekend

samedi 3 mai 2014

Welcome to Bangkok

We ended up staying quite long in Bangkok as we always had Candy or Palmy (a friend from Lucky) who would be so kind to show us around and make us do plenty of activities. Here are a few photos.

On a fini par rester pas mal de temps à Bangkok puisqu'il y avait toujours Candy ou Palmy (une amie de Lucky) pour nous faire visiter et nous faire faire plein d'activités. Voici quelques photos.

Rooftop bar, with a nice little view

Not quite Bangkok, but little restaurant not far / Petit resto pas loin de Bangkok

Waterfalls 4 hours away from Bangkok / Cascades à 4 heures de Bangkok

Red Cross snake farm

Thai cooking lesson / Cours de cuisine thaï
Little treat at a Thai gastronomic restaurant / Petit plaisir dans un restaurant gastronomique thaï

Fried ice cream at asiatique with Palmy