Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Vietnam (14) Day 11 (8.2.2012)
There was a great big wide and long beach promenade, with children's outdoor play equipment. It was broken and hardly safe like we were used too, but I was not complaining by this stage! The rungs for the slippery slide were missing, with just the broken metal pole stump sticking out from the ground. When a child climbed the rungs, they were essentially climbing high above a metal skewer. I was shocked at how the kids playground equipment was the most dangerous thing on the entire beach front. Local mums had it under control though. They took their kids rubber shoe off, and placed it upside down over the sheeskabab. I guess a fall would be broken by the rubber shoe. Though, no parent left the side of their kids. So it was fun for the kids, but hardly relaxing for the parents. I was getting to realise, that I have taken the children's playgrounds and public spaces of our area back home for granted. They are all super safe, many fenced in, so no children would wander, and always safe enough, where the parent did not have to look for possible finger jamming, or hard surface falls. Previously I was not impressed by them at all. With soft rubber landing surfaces on the grounds, with all the equipment being smooth and rounded and symmetrical. I was critical about the fact that they took away a childs sense of responsibility. Like a plastic sippy cup. I had always given my child a small glass to drink from. He had broken one in 4 years. Now he knows to be careful of glass. Its the same with the playgrounds. As we play in the backyard of our farm, he learns that dead branches break and won't support you, that loose gravel is slippery, that one needs to dodge the cow poo, that the fallen tree is a great balance beam, but may be growing moss and be slippery in the wet. These are the things that a child can learn when not in an artificial super safe childs playground. But now, I was travelling Vietnam and I need a break and those ridiculous playgrounds that I took for granted back home would come in handy right now. I really wanted to find one. A free one. Across the road from out hotel.
There was so much paved area with people relaxing, selling snacks, tourists lounging around, locals resting. I loved the atmosphere. Also, the beach was clean! I was later to find out, that its because the government cleans this part of the beach daily, so as to attract the tourists. It would in fact be just as polluted with rubbish if it were not cleaned daily. I am amazed by the difference. And greatly relieved, that we just further improved our quality of holiday! I succumbed to the reality that I was no longer "traveling", but was now "holidaying". I am going to lounge around and eat tropical fruit and read books whilst little messyfish watches cartoons on his cable tv and eats potatoe chips and does whatever else takes his fancy.