Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hoi An

What day is it today? Saturday? I'm not so sure. There is a little boy and girl sitting beside me staring with big brown eyes. Oh, they just smiled and walked away.

Yesterday we spent a day at the beach, swimming and "no thank-youing" the throngs of people selling pineapples and jewellery under their conical hats. Children and women, mostly. We came with intentions of giving to the poor but have learned that it's better not to, especially with children who should be attending school which is provided by the socialist state. By purchasing from these children we would only be encouraging whoever is in charge of their employment to continue sending them out. So we don't give and we send them away. "Maybe later??" they ask. "Nope, not today," we say. "Never say never," they say.

D'Arcy got burned like a tomato.

I have had two items of clothing made in this tailoring haven. People come specifically to this town to have clothes made and it's supposed to be dirt cheap. I had all these dreams of building new, well-fitting wardrobes here. But once I got here and saw all the shops (we decided one every three shops is a tailor) I didn't know where to begin. Instead of having pants and shirts crafted for me I brought in a favourite but ratty black zippy and jean skirt that are ready for the garbage and had them remake them. They both turned out well. Amazing!

Today we filled ourselves with greek salad (ahhh, feta!) and pizza (ahhh, pizza!!) as well as a french pastry. Mine was called Chocolate Louver. Maybe it was an error on either Louvre or Lover. Maybe it's a play on words.

Both D'Arcy and my bowels are misbehaving these days.

The Vietnamese food we've been eating (apart from today's splurge) is cheap and delicious. There is a specialty noodle dish from this city that was fantastic, and a great little restaurant called "Cafe des Amis" that is a huge hit. I like the way the Vietnamese eat in stages with dish after dish arrived for our tasting pleasure. Mmm. Fantastique. There is a lot of French and Chinese influence here thanks to the rule of those two countries.

Due to the train tickets being all sold out we are taking a hellishly long bus ride (with a private bus company this time) to the next stop on our journey which is Nha Trang. It is a beach town with pristine waters and good snorkeling. That's all I really know about it. We leave at 6pm tonight and arrive there at 5am tomorrow. Should be a ball o' fun.

Did I mention the incessant honking on the streets of Vietnam?? It's like there's a quota one must fill when operating any sort of vehicle. Really. I can't wait to be in a place where sidewalks are straight and meant for straight walking, and streets have rules that people obey. It's been far too long.

In other news, I have an apartment for next year with my good pal (thanks Jord) on Lippincot street in Toronto. And another good pal is meeting me in on the road when D'Arcy boots outta here. And I've just received my second offer of Research Assistantship. Things are going swell.

I just gave the little boy and girl some Trident gum. They took it shyly.

Well, time to go meet Darce and get ready for our journey to the beach. From there we're heading to the mountains where it will be cool and lovely. Can't beat that.

Hope all is well with the likes of you.


At July 18, 2006 9:44 a.m. , Blogger Jessica said...

Hello me, and everyone!

I can't access blogger but I can access my own website for once in this country!

I'm in Dalat and it's cool. I love it a lot! Tomorrow we're riding motorbikes through the countryside with Vietnamese men. DOn't worry, they should be legit.

We have been paying 8$ a night (divided by two) for hotels and we drank a specialty of the area: avocado shakes. They're actually delectable!

I'll post soon!


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