We finally made it onto a boat on the Mekong! This one was bound for My Tho, a city just a quick ferry ride away from the island province of Ben Tre where we were headed, so we paid a small fare and… waited. It was a cargo boat, carrying mostly random baskets of stuff and a few other Vietnamese passengers (not another English-speaker on the boat) so we didn’t have a clue when we would arrive in My Tho. Hours? Days? We didn’t really care. They just hung up two hammocks for us and we laid back for a few hours before the boat finally pulled out of Ho Chi Minh at 5:30pm.
The ride proved to be highly entertaining, if not a little weird, mostly thanks to the drunken captain. He loved me and Dan. So much so that he was constantly standing next to our hammocks slapping our asses (what?), smiling and shouting god-knows-what in our faces. Every once in a while we picked up on the fact that he was trying to get us to give him some of our things - clothes, my calculator, dan’s watch - but we played dumb. At one point he took Dan out on the deck, pointed at a small hole in his son’s shirt, then tore the shirt and his pants to shreds and threw them into the river. The whole family stood shouting at Dan in Vietnamese (who was very confused by all this) until he threw up his arms and went back inside. They served us some foul weird-shit-and-rice for dinner before we finally arrived in My Tho at midnight. The captain pulled the boat up to a random dock, swung a ladder overboard, and we scurried off. 30 minutes later we had a room and went to sleep for the night.