Thursday, February 09, 2012

Vietnam (15) Day 12 (9.2.2012)

Today we moved hotels. As usual, with the thought of being in transit, I am anxious. If I dont have a safe "home" base, I feel worried. I simply am not liking carting around the great big heavy backpack WITH a child. It does not slip easily into and out of a cab, and to put it in the boot of the cab, means having little messyfish standing beside me on the road, with me NOT holding his hand because I am lifting a stupid backpack in. If I was in more upmarket accomodation then I would simply have him wait in the foyer, or perhaps the doorman would take care of the bag. The other issue was that the cab would always speed off before I had put on our seat belts. It was hard enough not having a childs safety seat, but to take off in crazy vietnamese traffic without seat belts was sending my fear levels over the richter scale.
View from the Ha Tram hotel balcony, 4th floor.

Looking the other way from 4th floor balcony at the Ha Tram Hotel, Nha Trang.
OHAS in Vietnam is not what it is in Australia! I never encouraged Little messyfish to come outside and have a look at the view. I always locked the door to the balcony when I was in the shower incase he decided to "have a look". The railings were about thigh high, with a step up to make it knee high if you were a kid. I had horror videos playing in my head about this balcony and little messy fish. Thankfully he never came out much. I spent alot of time out there though, drawing and writing and watching. It was here that I decided I needed to live in a more urban environment again. That our country living was too quiet and too isolated.

I insisted that the cabbie take us right to the door. Right down the alleyway. It was brilliant! I even loved the trip down to the tourist area. Going over the bridge and seeing all the fishing boats, and the masses of people eating and socializing on the streets in little cafes and bars. I was feeling happy and relieved. We got out in a quiet alley, the cabbie had to reverse all the way out the alley (because there was nowhere to turn!). When we arrived they had only a "windowless" room for us for the first night. At $8, I did not care, and that meant that we were definately in line for the balcony room the next night. The room was fine, except that it stunk of cigarettes. It was a non-smoking hotel, that provided ashtrays in all the rooms. I sprinkled my lavender oil and tea tree oil around, and cranked up the aircon. Then we got a call on the phone. An upgrade already! excellent. Took the key downstaots, got a new one, and into a great big white tiled, 2 double bed, flat screen, wifi, ensuite, balcony with view room! heaven! and it was 27c outside with light sea breezes. Yippee! Things were getting better. I had to do a bit of a clean with my big packet of anti-bacterial wipes. The tweezers, braces elastic, broken pair of sunnies, bobby pins, and short an curlies had to be removed, then I was able to set up the room. Toys on one bed, sleeping silks on the other. Art materials on the bedside table, that we made into an art desk. mini bar contents pushed to the back of the fridge. Later to be filled with items from the western market like milk, orange juice and coke.
We settled in fairly quickly and enjoyed the air con. We had two double beds, so one was set up as a play space.
Comfortable and enjoying the quiet wait for a delicious pizza and the best service ever at Fernando's Pizza Restaurant, Nha Trang.

Then it was out for dinner. A traveller that I spoke to at the last hotel had given me great directions for a pizza place in town. I had remembered where it was. So I locked my bag to the bed, locked the bag, got some cash into my pocket, wrote out a card that had our names and hotel on it, placed a hotel business card into my zipped pocket , strapped the ergo on, and off we went on an adventure round the corner. As usual, little messyfish wanted to run. As usual, there were motorbikes everywhere. If only they didnt park them on the footpaths, I wouldn't be so damn pissed off about them. but they do. So I had to hold his hand the whole way. When we crossed the street I would pick him up. Sometimes he would go so slow, that I would put him in the ergo and walk. Eventually we found the pizza shop! Oh My! what a great find. A very busy and stressed out Italian man was running the place. Fernando. The owner. Good job he was a stress head. Everything was perfect. The margharita pizza (wheat and cheese...our western staple diet i had no idea I was missing so much till I took a bite of that deliciousness), and giant butter lettuce and cucumber salad with a vinagarette, warm freshly made bread with butter, a coke, some cold water. A table cloth, cutlery, a safe place for little messyfish to sit. Bliss. It all cost d170,000. I tipped so ended up paying d200,000. Thats less than $10. Its not vietnamese street food, but little messyfsh is happy. I bought cornflakes, juice, milk, oreos, crackers, some plastic bowls and spoons etc. carried them home and filled up that bar fridge. I plan to wake up, make breaky, then get changed for an early walk and swim to the beach.

There was an ATM right around the corner, and lots of tourist oriented snack carts. We were in heaven. Who would have thought that we would LOVE the touristy areas and its convieninces?

LOOK! There were even clear and safe footpaths to walk. I didn't have to hold on tight to my precious darling. Only occasionally did we have the dreaded motorbike enter our walking pleasure realm.

"I look forward to finding a place for a latte tomorrow. I am loving this climate. Warm balmy nights. I am sitting on the balcony with a singlet top on and my pj pants. I worry about the balcony not being too safe, its very climbable and the rails are not very hight, but am hoping that little messyfish doesnt have much interest in it. I really look forward to a morning on the beach tomorrow. During the day I really want to do some abstract art. Just colours and things. Its not all crazy hectic here like the vietnam that I have been experiencing. I've just gone up another notch of feeling more relaxed. Its so much more civalized here, with wide footpaths, western markets, KFC etc. Eating inside a restaurant is sooooo much easier than on the road with a 3 year old who likes to walk around while he is eating. We even RAN to KFC and back because of the footpaths. What joy and relief.

Now we just have to fill our pockets with some dong, and get across this 6 lane road for a wide promenade of beach front joy. We would gather with the other tourists and all walk together in a nervous giggling pack, usually with a local helpfully steering us through the danger.

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