Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Bai Xep Day 2 Gone Swimming ....

Yes, 4 am is too early to get up.

In principle.

Cause I can always sleep later but I can NOT miss another sunrise.  

One's gotta have one's priorities in order, LOL.

Yes, that IS the moon at the top edge of the picture above

I'm back on my baloncy, sipping some ruou vang do, watching the bay slowly brighten, a fisherman cleaning his net, a village woman walking down to the shore to bring a bucket of water home.  What I hear is harder to describe.  The steady soothing periodic lapping of baby waves on the sand. A distant low droning of fishing boat engines on the bay.  Dogs playing and barking and the occasional crow of a rooster.    That's it. 
No honking, no tire-rolling noises, no truck-back-up-beeping, no cell phone rings, no exhasperated people shouting at each other.

When having dinner with A&B last night
(Note the US flag on the T-shirt. In VIETNAM)
(OMG, it was A&B&C at that table, LOL), one of those two first-time Vietnam visitors mentioned that people here seem to be much happier than people in the US.  I can't judge this, but I know that people seem much happier here than people in Canada.  The amount of laughing here I can only compare to that in First Nations families.   

What does it all mean?   That all that progress of iPhones and Cadillacs and competitive business system and whatever has killed the joy in life?   It definitely seems that way.....

Whatever it is.  I was relieved to have my personal impression confirmed by that comment.   And YES, there is one major reason why I keep coming back here.  And it is NOT the temperatures or the beaches, although they certainly don't keep me away ;-)

Time to go for a walk and a swim, I think ;-)

Yes, that is my shirt in the bottom right corner
Gone Swimming !

I'm sure there are many MORE beautiful swimming spots out there in the world, but I haven't found them yet, so this one will have to do for now, LOL

Back in my room.  OMG, it's still friggin early!

Shave.  Shower.


Scrambled egg on baguette, yogurt, and another one of those Viet drip-coffees strong enough to raise the dead or to kill the living.

But amazingly enough:

I sleep for another 3 hours after that coffee, LOL

When I head downstairs to the bathroom, I realize that someone had been in my hut and cleaned it.  I DID sleep WELL, LOL.

Unfortunately, when the cleaning angel left, she (not sexist, just very much more likely) bolted the 'villa' door from the outside. So I end up climbing out the window.  

What is it about Vietnam and being locked inside?  Sleeping receptionists everywhere blocking the lobby until 6 am.  That episode of being locked out on my balcony at 5 am in Ha Noi last year. The roller shutter a couple of days ago.  And now trapped by the cleaner.   I need to watch out !


Time for a G&T

During this I get antsy.  I can't just hang out at the beach all day.  OK, there are worse fates, but ..... you know ..... I am NOT a beach tourist.

OMG. I napped again.

I go for a tentative exploratory walk to the other side of the village. 

 There are few clouds in the sky right now so it's HOT.

A villager is 'cutting' a HUGE 30 kg block of ice.  As in Sok San Village on Koh Rong, it seems to be easier to have the stuff delivered than to make it yourself. I almost stop in my tracks when I see the TOOL that he is using to cut the big block into precise thick slices.

Internet picture, but the tool he used looked just the same.
When I come back to my place I see a red-haired pale young guy slowly stepping onto the beach and then SPRINTING to the water.   Hmm.  Behavioral Handicap?  Who knows & who cares.

10 minutes later I'm off to go for a swim at my favourite location.

I step onto the sand.....


HOT !!!!  HOT COALS !!!!!


I don't take a camera and let's just say that even sitting on the big beach rocks with dripping wet swim trunks can give you well-poached eggs within seconds.  

Back at the hostel, I consult the 'library' of left behind books and choose and English translation of a US semi-trashy serial murder vs cop mystery.  NO, I don't have peculiar taste in books but 95% of the remaining books are either travel guides of Indochina (I am my own travel guide ;-) or books in Danish.


Where did the day go?????

It's RAINING !  (not that this fact disturbs the Viets, LOL)

The rain soon stops and I head to a table to get better WiFi reception.  Steve, the owner, walks up and chats.  Smart guy, nice guy. He and his 'friend' created THREE of these hostels within the last 3 years.  When I ask him whether all the stress is worth it because he really came for THIS (I point at the above pictured beach) in the first place, he only points out that at home he would be working just as much, only for someone else, in a much less desirable country & climate, and with much less desirable co-workers.  

His employees come up in the conversation and when he says "If Bao ever decides he doesn't want to work for me anymore, I will never find a replacement for him".  I know exactly what he means.  It's not only Bao's English skills (In all my 5 visits to Vietnam I have NEVER seen a person here handle the English language as effortlessly as this maybe 25 year old kid.  Add to that his gift of entering a room and make everyone feel at ease right away.  
(OK, I admit it:  He's pretty too, LOL.)

So I'm sitting here at the 'hostel' with Vietnamese guys playing guitar (really well) next to me, eating a seafood noodle dish, hearing the waves lap onto the beach 20 meters away from me, drinking my CAD$ 2.20 glass of white wine, and I'm realizing that THIS LIFE will end soon I'll be back in Vancouver in 12 days.  OMG !   

Seafood pasta 

I go back to the bar to get my second glass of white wine for dinner and they've run out. 
Completely OUT ! 
That's OK, I've had that problem in quite a few restaurants that I started frequenting.  They're just not prepared for me, LOL.

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