Monday, March 28, 2011

Southern Vietnam

My last dinner in Saigon with Jacklyn was absolutely lovely, at this beautiful, swanky-looking restaurant with a huge arrangement of ginger flowers and fountains at the entrance, but with typical Vietnam prices. We had Bun Cha Gio, which is vermicelli noodles and cut-up egg rolls with fresh herbs and veggies and topped with fish sauce. It was really amazing. We also had a green papaya salad, similar to the Thai kind but a little different with dried beef, called Goi Kho Bo. For dessert: black-eyed peas in a sweet coconut milk soup (Che Dau Trang) and Rice balls in ginger syrup and coconut milk (Che Troi Nuoc).

The next day I woke up early, said goodbye to dear Jacklyn, and tromped off to catch the bus to the beach town of Mui Ne. I had about 20 minutes until the bus left, and figured I'd grab some cash from the ATM that was right there... and the machine ate my card. For no apparent reason. I had actually withdrawn money from that same ATM days earlier, and my bank knows where the card is, etc. The transaction seemed fine, it was being processed, and I pushed "no receipt" and then it just said it couldn't return the card. So I got a refund on my bus ticket, and headed back to Jacklyn's to have her call the bank and talk to them in Vietnamese. They said it takes them 5 business days to get a card out of a machine! So I walked through District 1 to the actual bank to talk to them in person, thinking it might make a difference, and they said the same thing. The card just sitting in the machine and eventually being taken back to the bank seemed sketchy to me, so I just canceled the card. It was sort of a low point, as I had missed the early bus and there wasn't another one for 7 hours.

But these kinds of things happen when traveling, and I remind myself that a couple weeks without a debit card and a few less hours at the beach aren't huge problems in the overall scheme of things. So I took the later bus, and ended up meeting a Canadian guy who was in Vietnam for a friend's wedding. We met up for dinner that night and had spring rolls, stewed prawns with fish sauce (tom kho to), and curry fish baked in a clay pot (cary ca). In the morning we met up to ride bicycles out to the nearby sand dunes, pedaling past school kids and the sparkling water and a fishing village. We found some red dunes, but weren't sure if they were THE dunes until some kids came up trying to rent us sandboards. Then we knew we were in the right spot.

We made it back to Mue Ne for lunch of a savory seafood pancake, iced tea, and passion fruit ice cream for dessert. Then we took a quick dip in the almost non-existent beach (high tide) before I had to run to catch the bus to Dalat. On the bumpy ride winding into the mountains, I met D, an American gal from Minnesota who was teaching in Thailand, and like me also just finished her contract and was doing some traveling before heading home. We hit it off and decided to share a hotel room. We found a good spot and set out for an evening walk in the center of Dalat, trying street food like chicken-filled pastries (sort of like empanadas) and grilled eggy rice paper which I really liked. That was before dinner.

The next day while D went on a tour, I had a relaxing day in town. I finally took my laundry to be washed... of course unconsciously waiting until this cool, damp mountain town (the downside to not having dryers... two days later my clothes were still not totally dry. ug.) I had to put on my one pair of pants for the first time on this trip, and layered up with a scarf and jacket. But honestly, it was sort of nice to have a change from scorching hot weather. I went for a morning jog around the lake, and smelled freshly mowed green grass. I realized that I hadn't smelled that the whole time I've been in Asia, for over a year. Later when I was walking around in the light drizzle looking for an internet cafe, I stopped a girl on the street who had a ukulele in her back pack. I had to say hi to a fellow uke player! She was from Holland, and we had a good chat and ended up finding an internet cafe together.

The next morning I said goodbye to D and took an Easy Rider trip. Easy Riders are local motorbike drivers and cultural tour guides who you can hire for the day, week, or more to be your custom guide. The countryside around Dalat is really beautiful, and I wanted to see it without going on a package tour or renting a motorbike by myself. I found Thien, an old Easy Rider and jack of all trades, who was a wonderful guide for the day. I thought he seemed too quiet at first, but he ended up being quite talkative and very knowledgeable. We went for a hike, saw vegetables farms, flower farms, traditional rice-wine brewing, mushroom cultivation, silk-worm production, a waterfall, minority hill-tribes, local weaving, among other things.

Back in Dalat I went out for street food dinner with a new Spanish friend. I stuck to noodles (boring, I know) while she got a little more adventurous with these leaf-wrapped sausage thingies and also fertilized chicken egg. I don't know the name but apparently it's commonly eaten in many parts of Asia- hard-boiled egg with an embryo at various stages of development. Sometimes they were just fertilized so the yoke has just started to change flavor, but sometimes it's a formed chick. I tried cricket on my Easy Rider tour, and I'm not a picky eater, but I have to draw the line at eating unborn babies.

The next morning I caught the bus out of Dalat and who was assigned the seat next to me but my Dutch ukulele friend! We were both going to Nha Trang, a popular beach and party town on the southern coast. Unfortunately it wasn't exactly beach weather when we arrived- cool and cloudy- but we decided to hang out together and make the most of it. My Pacific Northwest and her Dutch transportation sensibilities coincided to make us agree that we should rent bicycles to check out the city. But all the rental places we passed just had motorbikes... until we saw the tandem bicycles. We looked at each other and both nodded, "Definitely." We had a blast riding in the zany but manageable to traffic to rock promenades, multi-religious stone towers, a Buddhist temple, a Cathedral, and a bakery. It was fun riding a bike because 1) taxi drivers stop asking you where you are going and if you need a ride, like they do when you're walking, and 2) people are super friendly and concerned about you finding your way.

We returned the bike by dark and then feasted on a huge Indian meal. I know, I know, I just last week said I wanted to eat Indian food in Cambodia, but made myself eat local food. But I couldn't resist. Later we met up with a new Italian surfer friend, and (predictably?) drank some limoncello and gelato for dessert before going out. I had heard that Nha Trang was a huge party town, but even though it was a Saturday night, it seemed pretty sleepy to me. We eventually found a spot to dance where the mojitos were terrible, the music was okay, and the people-watching was great.

The next day I really wanted some sunny weather, but it was grey again. We decide to rent a motorbike and drive south to check out another beach that possibly had surfing waves. It was the next step in my budding scooter-riding skills, because I drove with my friend on the back. I'm now feeling like a pretty confident driver, between surviving Saigon traffic and carrying a passenger. It turned out the waves weren't breaking right for surfing, but it was a fun excursion and I still took a dip in the cool weather. The thing is, it was cool by Vietnam standards, but still pretty warm by my Seattle standards.

I caught a very comfortable overnight sleeper bus back to Saigon, where I will fly out of back to Bangkok. I really wanted to make it farther north, up to Hoi An and Hanoi and Halong Bay. But for now in my short time, I feel like I got a good taste of the south.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saigon (Ho Chi Min?)

Whether you call it Istanbul or Constantinople, I think you know the city I'm talking about. I had no trouble crossing the border from Cambodia to Vietnam, and even got given a slice of mango with chilied salt from one of the border officials! It felt like we were driving into Saigon for a long time. When we finally stopped, we were on De Tham road... which is the exact street my friend lives on! Things couldn't get more convenient than that.

I walked through several blocks of this backpacker district, crossed a crazy street, then found my friend's place in a quiet alleyway. Jacklyn and I met in college in Bellingham, and we realized we hadn't seen each other since we went to a Northest Brew Fest at St. Edwards Park back in... 2005? It was great to see her and she was a wonderful guide since she speaks Vietnamese and really loves living in Saigon. That afternoon, she took me to her favorite Pho (beef noodle soup) place, and it was delicious. She already had Saturday night plans, so I tagged along to a Tapas restaurant, where I met other English teachers, and we drank red wine and had mussels, salmon croquettes, and empanadillas. Then we went to her friend's costume birthday party, where I went as Japanese in Jacklyn's kimono.

The next day we had breakfast at a street stall, and I forget the name of the dish, but it's these thin, wide rice noodles rolled around pork, and served with sprouts and herbs, and doused in fish sauce. It was delish. We sat at the tiny stools eating and watched the old woman expertly make dozens of these fresh noodles over a wood-fire cooker. Then we rented motorbikes to take a roadtrip to the coast. Driving in Saigon is INSANE, but I felt okay about it after a combination of riding a bicycle in road-anarchic Korea for so long, and recently renting the scooter in Thailand. I told Jacklyn I would just follow her. We headed out of town, took a ferry across the river (with about 100 other bikes!), and then got onto a nice open road before getting to the beach. We cooled down from the hot, road-grimy ride with iced tea, iced coffee, and a dip in the ocean.

The next morning I went with Jacklyn to her Zumba class which was super fun, and poached a swim in the super fancy pool. So really I wasn't much of a tourist in Saigon, more just hanging with my friend, but I like doing that in a new city. The one touristy thing I did was go to the War Remnants Museum about the Vietnam War, which was incredibly sad (especially the effects of Agent Orange) but really well done. More about that later. Next up: to the coast again!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Flip-flops and Motorbikes

There is an abundance of both those things in Southeast Asia. At my hostel in Phuket, Thailand, there were so many flip-flops on the shoe rack that they were stacked on top of each other- high density footware storage. And there are motorbikes everywhere, seeming to be more and more the farther east I go- from Thailand to Siem Reap (Cambodia) and now Phnom Penh. I would take a really long time to cross a street, because it just seemed like a chaotic stream of traffic that I could never possibly get through, but I noticed other people crossing and the traffic just flowing around them. It reminds me of a part in The Bee Movie. Have you seen that? There's a part in the beginning where Barry, the main character bee, is questioning their career paths, and says that sometimes things seem TOO efficient. His friend asks, "What do you mean?" as the two of them are standing in the middle of an intersection of the hive with hundreds of cars streaming quickly and seamlessly around them. Now when I cross the street I just try to channel Barry from that scene.

So after Phuket I took an overnight bus back to Bangkok, then immediately got on a 6am but to the Cambodian border. Now, I have heard horror stories from several people about this border crossing and all the potential scams. The main one is that the bus from the Thai side will stop before the border in the middle of nowhere and tell the passengers that they have to fill out forms and pay for their Cambodian visa, an amount more than the visa should be when it's fake anyway. Luckily, there were a few other foreigners on the bus, and when the bus stopped (luckily in a town) we shared a tuk-tuk to the border. But the driver took us to a white square building, and told us "First you get visa here." Of course it was a scam because we weren't even at the border yet, and I couldn't help laughing at the hand-written signs in the window. "Cambodian Visa here" written in sharpie on printer paper. I just started walking away and followed the line of cars toward the actual border while the tuk-tuk driver shouted after me. We exited Thailand and went to the actual visa office on the Cambodian side, where a big sign said $20 for a basic tourist visa. I filled out the paperwork along with the German couple and a Philippino man from the same bus, and when I went to the window to pay, the official said, "Twenty dollars plus 100 baht" [about $3 in Thai money]. "Why?" I asked. "100 baht please," he repeated. I decided to treat it lightly, pointing at the sign and saying, "Maybe next time! For now, $20," and I put down the money and looked at him expectantly. He smiled and processed the visa without any other hassles.

The four of us shared a taxi from the border to the city of Siem Reap, with an awesome driver who spoke English and told us a lot about Cambodian history, culture, and politics. We passed about 6 weddings in tents on the roadside, with ornate decorations and rich colors that reminded me of India. The driver said that this was a very common time to get married since it was the dry season and no one was working in the fields. "If you get married when the people are planting or harvesting the rice, no one will come to your wedding!" the driver said.

In Siem Reap, I was a little surprised that the second largest city in Cambodia only had a few main roads that were paved. I had a map that showed the street names, but even some of the primary roads were dirt. It was hot and dusty, but had a good feel to the city. I found a place to stay, dropped off some laundry, rented a bike, and had dinner. Cambodian (Khmer) food seems to be pretty similar to Thai in many ways- fresh fruits, soups, rice, curries, and complex mixes of many fresh flavors. Like in Thailand, there was a lot of basil, lime, spouts, and chilies, though in general the food was not as spicy. I had a really delicious Khmer soup with some spring rolls before calling it a night.

The next morning, I headed out of town around 4:45am to ride the bike out to Angkor Wat for sunrise. Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world, built in the 12th century. It was first a Hindu temple, then later became Buddhist. There are many Wats in the surrounding area, built by differeny kings at different times. I watched the sun rise, and spent most of the day pedaling around and walking through the unique and incredibly varied stone temples. It was an awesome day, and luckily not too miserably hot so I was able to be out for longer than I expected.

Up early again the next day, I left at 6am to catch a 7am river boat out of Siem Reap. Instead of taking a bus, it was a boat to the city of Battambang, a much longer but more scenic option. It took most of the day to get there, going slowly through shallow muddy water, past floating markets and homes, adults harvesting river plants and children splashing in the water. It was really incredible to float through this rural, watery backyard, and I wish I could post pictures. There is so much I want to say, and so little time online, that I hardly have time to write much less upload photos. So I'll try to post some highlights from the trip when I get home to the US.

Battambang was mellow and had some nice French colonial architecture. There is a river through the city with a foot path along it, so I was able to go jogging for the first time since Phuket. Then I had breakfast with some nice French girls from the boat ride before catching the bus to Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city in Cambodia. I managed to find a run-down but quiet and charming corner of the city along the lake. It was a fairly international neighborhood, with many Thai, Japanese, and especially Indian restaurants. It was everything I could do to not go to one of the places that advertised daal, rice, homemade samosas, chicken tikka, and lassis, but I was only in Cambodia for a few days so I wanted to eat as much ethnic Khmer food as possible. So I tried Amok, which is fish and veggies with amok spices and coconut milk baked in a banana leaf. Oh. My. Goodness. It was so good. While I don't usually mind eating alone, it was one of those dining experiences where I really wish some one had been there to enjoy it with me.

In the morning I found a nice Dutch couple to share a tuk-tuk with, and we went out to the killing fields, where the Khmer Rouge killed and buried massive numbers of their own Cambodian people in the late 1970's. I don't remember how many were estimated to be killed in that particular spot, but it is said that about 1.7 million were murdered in total. It was a horrendous place to visit, with holes in the grounds of the mass graves sights, and even pieces of clothing and bone still visible in the soil. We also went to the S-21 Museum, which is the main prison site right in the city where the Khmer Rouge questioned, torchured, and imprisoned people before sending them to the Killing Fields. Of course, there are endless things to say about the horrors of that regime and the sickness I felt seeing such blatant evidence and relics from that time. But not right now. These were important part of Cambodia to see first-hand, but it didn't make for a particularly enjoyable or easy morning.

Later I walked around the city, toward the river and the Royal Palace. It was actually quite hard to do, because every 10 meters a tuk-tuk or moto driver asks you if you want a ride. There are many parts of French culture that remain in Cambodia from the colonial era, one in particular being baguettes. One thing that is very not French: how uncommon it is to just WALK. I've been really with weather on this trip- it's been hot but never too terribly hot, so it was actually a really nice day to walk around.

The next day- another early morning- off to Vietnam where there promised to be even more motorbikes!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Angkor Wat

The morning is black and I have no sense of what is around me. But the traffic has stopped so I stop too. A man motions me toward proper bicycle parking. I follow the stream of other visitors in the dark, thinking of trivial things. Is this coffee too hot for this plastic cup? How many other people rode bikes in for sunrise? Should I have worn a belt today? Voices are all around, speaking many languages, people clutching cameras and tripods and plastic bags of snacks. I cross through the first gate and wafts of sweet incense onto a long stone walkway. People have spread out and finally it's quieter and the towers of Angkor Wat are just visible in a dark blue outline.

Like any place you've always wanted to see, it is more than a collection of the stones. It breathes a majesty and sacredness that nearly makes me cry. Not at the beauty, or the exquisite architecture; not at the sense that there is something larger than myself, though all these things are true. It's at the passion and devotion embodied in these structures, and at these people of all faiths whose faces I can't even see who make this tourist pilgrimage of sorts. At our modern grappling for things in our lives with a fraction of this meaning and creativity. At our loss for words as we snap photo after photo, trying to bring a bit of its soul home with us. At my no one to talk to, even if I could find those words. At my vague satisfaction that I find in being here anyway, as I take my photos and get back on the bike to pedal toward the next ruins.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I bought my ticket to Bangkok about a week before I left. I was in Australia for most of February, then came back to Korea to a flurry of packing and leaving. I had hardly caught my breath or thought about travel plans when I found myself touching down at the Bangkok airport. I had a moment of wondering what I was doing there, and why I didn't just go home after a year of being away. But as I sat in the back of the taxi on my way to my hostel, and watched the city loom larger in front of me, I as filled with that glee of the unknown, of arriving in a new place. We turned on to a narrow road where all the buildings seemed too close together, like a Tim Burton movie, and where people were still bustling about on the streets though it was nearly 1am. "Here," the taxi driver said and I was also filled with that travel pride of successfully navigating through the daily necessities, such as finding my first night's accommodation and insisting that the driver use the meter.

I have always wanted to go to Thailand- many friends have traveled here and it always sounded amazing. I first heard about Angkor Wat in Cambodia when my friend Scott went years back, and resolved to go there too. And after my friend Alex's trip to Vietnam last year, I knew that was must as well. I'd really love to go all over Southeast Asia, but I can't do it all on this trip. For now I'm sticking to those 3 countries and a quick 1-month visit.

As soon as I arrived at the hostel in Bangkok, some folks invited me to go out for a drink. I had been flying all day, and it was late, but hey, why not? I had my first Singha and a crazy, deliciously spicy plate of basil chicken and rice. Bangkok proved to be an easy place to meet friends, and I spent that first weekend mostly with Norwegian guy- a music journalist who had lived all over the world- and an incredibly sweet Irish woman- a make-up artist who had also lived abroad a lot. We went to temples, took canal boat rides, went out to dinner, and had a quintessential Bangkok night out of various bars, a dance party across the river, late night street food, and a tuk-tuk ride home on the nearly empty streets in the wee hours. Bangkok was big and a bit overwhelming, but actually friendlier and more navigable than I imagined. In general, I have found Thai people incredibly kind and laid-back, and it seems like nearly every one speaks some amount of English. I am totally loving the food, cheap and abundant and flavorful. Lots of noodles and chicken and chiles and tropical fruit and soups and curries. I also discovered Thai iced coffee. This Seattle-born, thrice-employed barista is a little embarrassed to admit how satisfying I find their blend of instant coffee, raw sugar, and sweetened condensed milk over a mountain of ice. It has a nice caramely flavor, is ridiculously sweet, and mostly cold and refreshing. One of my favorite moments was when I went to the Grand Palace, and as you are walking in they hand you the map/brochure. I get in and open mine up, an it's in KOREAN. As I clearly don't look Korean, I thought it was hilarious that they made that mistake, and I figured I must still be putting off a Korean vibe or something. It was good to see Korean writing, and sound some of the words out, but needless to say, I did exchange it for an English version. Anyway, I got my visa for Vietnam, then got out of the city just before it got to be too, well, big cityish.

I headed south to Phuket, where my friend Tonya is teaching English on the southern tip of the island. We met last year because she was also living in Gunsan, Korea, teaching English before going to Thailand. She has been a total sweetheart about people staying with her, and I was actually her 10th visitor in her 4 months here! Compare that to one person visiting her all year in Korea, go figure. There's not any public transit on Phuket, every one takes taxis or rides motor bikes, including Tonya on her scooter. She suggested that I rent one while I was there, so with signing a paper and paying about $12, a lady hands me the keys to a sporty Honda Click for two days.

Now for those of you who know me, you know that I'm not the kind of person who is usually entertained by riding motorized things. I would usually rather walk or cycle than drive somewhere. I'd rather snowshoe than snow mobile, rather sail or swim than take a motor boat. But riding a scooter on Phuket was a blast. I was nervous at first, and actually had Tonya ride the bike to her house so I could practice in the driveway before going on the road. I know two friends who crashed their scooter in Thailand as soon as they drove out of the rental place! Also, in Thailand, they drive on the left, so it's really lucky that I was just in Australia and practiced driving on a road trip. It was really confusing at first, but on Phuket it all clicked (despite the lax road rules and bikes zipping all over the place), and Tonya and I rode to beaches, viewpoints, and went hiking. One day at the beach, we had just gotten in the water when it started to rain. Downpour. The water was actually warmer than the air, so we kept swimming and tried to wait out the rain to ride home. It was still raining when we left, and arrived back at her place 100% drenched and exhilarated. Luckily she was using a dry-bag as her purse that day, so the important things were kept dry. I also met up with a friend from Orcas Island (small world!) who works part of the year here. I knew he was living on Phuket, but it's a really large island of almost half a million people. It turns out he lives right down the street from Tonya. Seriously crazy! We had an amazing dinner one night, sitting cross-legged on the ground at a low table, on colorful mats with candles right on the waterfront, watching the dark tide come in and lift up boats off the sand, sharing a grilled mackerel, spicy green papaya salad, mixed veggies, pad see ew, sticky rice, and cold beers in the warm night air.

From there I went out to Phi Phi island. It's a really beautiful island, though probably the most touristy place I've ever been in my life. It felt a bit like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta for Europeans, a spring break party paradise. I enjoyed a massage, Phad Thai, mango shakes, and laying on the beach before an evening rooftop movie. They were showing "The Beach", which was stereotypical but appropriate, since one island over was the beach where they filmed The Beach. I had also never seen it, so I got a glimpse of where I would go snorkeling the next day. Later that night it was mojitos and a fire dancing show on the beach, then some dancing before calling it a night before 1am. I like keeping the drinking low-to-moderate, and getting a good night's sleep, so that was enough party for me. But I heard voices and music long into the night, and woke up (for the millionth time) when it was finally quiet. That was at 5:30am. I woke up again at 7:30 to pounding rain on the rooftop, wondering if the snorkeling trip would be cancelled.

The boat trip was still on, though a bit cold in the beginning. We took a long boat, and it felt great to be out on the water, along huge sheer cliffs, even in the cool spray of ocean and rain. I met two other people on the boat who had just finished teaching in South Korea. "Don't you miss Korea?!" the girl asked. Well, not yet, but I have only been gone for a little over a week. It will be interesting to see if I miss it later on. I also met an awesome French woman, and we talked travel and about how much we missed cheese being in Asia. She had only been away from home for a week though, haha! By the time we got to Maya Bay to snorkel, the sun was peaking through the clouds, and the visibility of the water was good. I saw so many fish, at least 20 different kinds, as well as huge purple anemones and camouflaged sea cucumbers.

I would have loved to go to Ko Lanta, to Krabi, to Tonsai beach, and to Khao Sok National Park, if I had more time. I think I got a good taste of the islands and beaches in southern Thailand, but it's already time to head back to Bangkok. I want to get to Cambodia tomorrow, and time is of the essence. For now I'm grateful for the time that I have had here. I really really really miss home, but I'm excited for a few more weeks in SE Asia, and a few more moments of the unknown.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Annyoung Korea!

Getting back to Incheon Airport in Seoul, things felt so familiar and yet it was strange to be back after my time in Australia. I was back to being stared at all the time, and having the volume set way too loud on the bus audio system. On the plus side I went out to dinner the night I got back and was really happy about grilled meat with mushrooms and garlic, and all the side dishes of soup, kimchi, pickled radish, marinated veggies, and wilted greens.

When I got back to Korea, quite a bit had changed in a couple weeks. One friend got married (Congrats Michael!) and two got engaged (Congrats James and Jen!), plus we had new foreign teachers already at my school. It was a busy last week interviewing new Korean teachers, having meetings, cleaning out my desk and computer files, making goodbye gifts, and going to our last staff dinner. Predictably, just like every staff dinner, we had to give speeches. I don't know if this is typical for Korea or just the Headmaster of my school. Between the incoming and outgoing teachers, the office staff, and a few members of the Gunsan City Council present at this dinner, we had almost 30 people, and many speeches had to be translated... so I was worried we would be there for hours and hours. Luckily it was the best mix of concise and heartfelt. Of course, it's saying goodbye to people that was hard, not necessarily leaving Gunsan or the school. A few tears were shed, and I feel truly grateful to have worked with such fun, awesome, and helpful coworkers this year, both the foreign and Korean teachers.

I also had to pack up my apartment which was a little harder than anticipated. I tried to not acquire much, but invariably I needed things for the apartment that I can't or don't need to take home with me. So basically I spent the last week giving things away- household items, kitchen implements, food, etc. I was a little stressed out and flustered that whole last week, and I have to give a big thank you to my friend Aaron who was my calm voice of reason during it all. He helped me make decisions about post-Korea travel plans, as well as helped me move things out of my apartment and get rid of things, all the while never getting caught up in my self-induced franticness. Kahamsamnida Aaron!

And thanks Korea for the great year... I might be back, I might not. But first- a trip around SE Asia then a very excited return back to the PNW in April.