Of course, I get up early ;-)
I could miss something ...
Go swimming, take a lazy moment (What ? Another one? LOL)
|$30/night. Life is tough, LOL|
At breakfast I hear the most unbelievable story from the hotel owner, who opened his place only 5 days ago (I was the FIRST guest, LOL).
Apparently last night at MIDNIGHT, the Village Police showed up with a strength of four people. They wanted to check whether the hotel owner had actually registered all the foreign guests with the local authorities.
So they went to the large glass doors of the rooms to actually perform a visual check. In the neighbouring room, the door was locked so the 4-strong Village police force was limited to trying to peek through the presumably closed curtains.
|Not my room, not my police, not my pic|
My door was NOT locked. And I must be a REALLY deep sleeper.
Because I'm told that the police actually OPENED my door, PARTED the closed curtains, and PEEKED into my room to check whether REALLY only ONE foreigner was in there.
In retrospect I wish I had woken up to see the four uniformed faces staring at me in the dark, LOL.
Oh, what a country, LOL.
I check out, hop on the scooter, and follow the coastal road North.
I'm tempted to crop my helmet hair out of the picture. So old and still so vain ;-(
Next stop: Life's a Beach.
This is where the scooter came from and this is where it has to go back to.
As I sit down to have my ruou vang trang and a baguette, an about 6 year old boy and maybe 10 to 12 year old girl circle closer and closer. The girl sees a Bangkok picture on my PC and asks "Where?". I end up explaining that I'm also booking a hotel room right now and show them on Google Maps, where exactly that room will be (hint: people speak Tagalog there, The Japanese committed atrocities there, and the city has district called Intramuros)
Then the boy grabs my cell phone and within 2 minutes is playing some online computer game on it.
Then he uses Google's Voice Search and talks to my phone to tell it what he is looking for. In Vietnamese. Of course, my phone only speaks English.
He better knows how to use my phone's features than I do, LOL.
|He likes my shades.|
The girl starts playing with my camera.
OMG, she has IT. All her shots might lack a good subject but they are very well composed.
|A picture by the girl from Bai Xep|
|Photographer: Girl from Bai Xep|
|Reality check: Think SAME KIDS. THIS happened during my lifetime. And WHAT FOR ? |
What exactly are those Syrian kids dying for right now?
Someone's Glory or Bank Account ?
Wei, the manager, is great. He understands why I can't do that video to the village people that he on behest of his employer had asked me to record. He even says there was another guest who thought like I did.
THIS is an image you get if you google "Hospitality"
They wanted me to tape a video message to the villagers motivating them to turn down their karaoke and to clean up their beach.
WTF? We tourists and travelers are GUESTS here in this country. In Vietnamese culture it is VERYT important to be a GOOD host and a GOOD guest, like in any culture that hasn't been spoiled by you know what or rather you know WHO.
THIS is an image you get if you google Arab Hospitality:
Do you know what a guest is who makes DEMANDS of this host? A spoiled brat. Same as all these young backpackers. One spoiled brat after the next.
Imagine Vietnamese tourists coming to the USA and demanding that the Americans keep down the cheering during a baseball game or Vietnamese tourists demanding that Germans tone down their beer-drinking talk.
People would laugh at them.
THIS is a picture you get if you google Turkish Hospitality:
You're a GUEST here. Be a GOOD guest. Or travel to Disneyland next time.
Even a Google search of Hospitality only returns pictures of hotel receptions and shiny wine coolers. There is MORE to it and that MORE has NOTHING to do with money !
THIS is a picture you get if you google Vietnamese Hospitality: (Are you starting to see where the Western World Went Wrong????)
When I ask to have my PR card returned that I had left with them as security for the scooter, Wei quickly glances at the card to make sure its mine, and judges the picture as "handsome" when he hands the card back. Blush. But his English needs improvement. The proper word is "old", LOL
One last walk to the beach and then I'll ask Wei to call me a taxi.
What is that shouting? Oh, the kid who earlier abused my phone now is standing under the water overflow pipe and wants attention.
|Au Revouir, Bai Xep !|
The taxi to hotel costs 200,000 Dong. NOT bad, considering the guy had to drive the 12 km from Quy Nhon just to pick me up.
In the hotel in a lovely local corner of town I am greeted by an older man with silver-gray hair and a translation app on his phone. Due to a convoluted circumstantial mess, my train ticket for tomorrow morning VANISHED from my passport last night (blame the police raid). So I have to buy a new train ticket. For which I need my passport. But the hotel has to keep the passport. Now try explaining THAT in Vietnamese. But this translation app WORKS: You want to borrow passport?, the phone screen reads after he talks Viet into the speaker. OMG, this is GREAT!
When you walk train station? is the next question.
OMG! I've GOT to get me one of THESE !!!!!
Things get even better ! I don't have to buy a new ticket after all. They FIND my reservation in their computer system using my passport. NOT using my last name, NOT using my first name, but with my middle name, which is printed on the train ticket, LOL.
Let's take the old grinning guy up on his bicycle offer. OMG. THIS is different than a scooter.
|NOT me. Not my pic. But maybe next time I'll wear the hat|
Life slows down. One so much more appreciates the gentle flow of traffic life on a bicycle.
It starts raining seconds after I reach the Kiwi connection.
Their so-called Thai Curry is really an Indian Curry, but it's the best thing that I've eaten here yet !
After dinner, the rain has stopped. I'm on my way cycling home when I get side-tracked. I get drawn into the parks by the ocean, where I see lights moving and both children and adults laughing.
Cute. All these LED-lit bikes are just sitting there waiting for families to use them. Now let's check out the other side of the street. All these battery-powered trikes are state- or city-supplied and the kids have a BALL !
This evening seems magical.
Vietnam is like Disneyland.
Only here, all the fun is REAL and all the rides are FREE.
It starts pouring when I'm less than 20 meters from the hotel. Could an evening be better timed? LOL