Wooooowzer! What a day! just doing life, not touristing, just eating and playing. My darling sweet boy loves to run ahead and just run and run. I am getting fit. I have wet my pants quiet a number of times trying to keep up. He hates all the noise, the motor bikes, the car horns. Me too. I am so glad we have found a place for him to eat breakfast.A place for me to buy fruit. Ive been to the same street vendor now 3 times for lunches and dinners. Delicious every time. I usually have rice and eggs and tofu and veg and chicken. I have also discovered lemon flavoured iced tea, which is cold and delicious and much better than waiting forever for someone to make me a cup of hot lipton tea. I just love they way they eat in Vietnam. I must buy a rice steamer again when i get home. It makes meals so easy.
I am, loving this area of Nha Trang we are staying. Everything is in easy reach. The beach, the food, the western market and the cheap hotel. Would i live here? No. Too busy and touristy. I look forward to a quieter time in Hoi An. I want to see rice paddies and water buffalo, lanterns and tailored clothes. I cant wait to get some for me. I want tops and pants. I have no pants that fit me.
This journal is like my "artists way" pages. A purge of thoughts and ideas and worries. Its not much of a travel journal. Heck I am not even drawing that much. I am really into being on the internet. I love to take pictures too. I just like to read. Maybe a book on how to travel with a 3 year old to Vietnam would be a good idea? Here is how it would go.
First: Cross everything off your list of places to visit.
Second: Do not under any circumstances read the lonely planet (it was written for 20 year olds and you are probably way too tired and busy with children to do ANYTHING they suggest).
Third: Pack only and iPhone and iPod to save on carrying heavy items, you wont need a laptop, kindle or speakers and dock. A 19kg backpack and a toddler is enough to carry through the alleyways of saigon.
Fourth: Stay in touristy western areas. Its where the most english is spoken and its where spolit western children are tolerated and oreo's are sold.
Fifth: Find comfort foods and a good supply of them, before pagodas or going on cyclo rides.
Sixth: Go to the same shops everyday and do the same walks and restaurants. As people get to know you and your empath child they will pick up on that vibe and will treat you respectfully and accordingly. This is vietnam. The people are kind and sensitive too.
Seventh: If after 7 days your 3 year old still has not got a sense of community and safety, breastfeed, watch tv, turn up the aircon and catch a cab to a pizza restaurant. Stay in the hotel ALL day, paint and play with plasticine, eat fruit and breakfast cereal, and blow that cheap horn plastic toy bought at the road side shop.
Eighth: Take small child out only for your own 3 meals a day. Take lots of photoes on the way there and back, at least you will have some photoes to edit and post to facebook and twitter, and that will give you something to do whilst small child watches tv all day in the hotel room.
Ninth: Send all the ridiculous shit you packed home (the treated mozzie net and deet super strength anti malaria mozzie repellant for the trips into the Cambodian jungle that clearly you are not going to take anymore as you sit and lick imported chocolate ice-cream in tourist town), lighten the load, send it home with a whole bunch of crappy souvenir's. That way that part will be over and you can get on with taking care of yourself and your child, and not be weighed down by expectations and material crap.
20th feb to 14th March, Hoi An. Then Mai Chau, Luang Prabang, Sapa, Halong Bay. Hanoi from 21st april to 28th April. Fly home 29th April.
Shopping List for train trip:
bananas, apples, mandarins
knife and plate
keep handy toys and scarf...
In hind sight it would have been more fun to rely on the food in the train and the snack cart. The stop at the station mid trip (just after they served dinner) would have been too difficult on my own, getting out, deciding and buying stuff before the train took off with a small child, but when i go next time with mr messy fish, that will be one of the highlights I look forward too!