Friday, February 17, 2012

Vietnam (24) day 21 (17.2.2012)

"Today I took it easy in the morning. We went out for breakfast. I had a great Pho again. Little messy fish had 2 serves of eggs on toast, then we went back to the hotel for some art and lounging around. Then back to the same place again for lunch in the alley in the  street behind our  hotel called Hung Vuong. Just as I was becoming seriously unmotivated and couldnt be bothered doing anything, Vicki from canada (in 301, we are in 401) came up with a cup of tea and ciggie in hand, and we had a great chat on the balcony. She has travelled with her kids. She told me about riding on the top of a bus with her 2 kids in cambodia, because it was so hot in the bus and the diesel motor made it unbearable to be inside that bus. She has rented a house in thailand on a cut off island for a year when her kids were little. She has travelled from russia to yugoslavia. She has been in the jungles of borneo and in the hills of China. I told her i wanted to do the same things and how? She suggested an island near hop An. Its where the locals live. Its quiet and has less motorbikes. To get there, i catch a ferry from just outside the main market in HoiAn. go to the island and sit at the cafe and hang out. Ask around and talk to the locals. be upfront, dont leave them guessing. tell them what I need in a house and how much i can pay. Then to meet the locals, have my child play with some lego out the fromnt of our house. it will attract everyone, and before we know it, we will be invited for meals and looked after." 
I believe this to be great idea! from where i sit now, writing this up from my journal, it still seems a great idea. BUT at the time...i could not possibly make myself get on a boat with my little boy. It felt way too unsafe with him not being able to swim, and the waters being so murky and the edges of the boat being so low, and most importantly him being really difficult when it came to being safe around potentially dangerous things. i was already so exhausted by his 'bolting", near traffic and on bust streets, the last thing i needed, was a struggling toddler on a busy locals boat where the motor was loud, and the people not used to 'naughty" western children. Next time i go, i will get on that boat. Little messyfish has already grown older and he is already more reasonable when it comes to doing what I ask when it comes to his safety. I really look forward to that boat trip that "i did not take", but watched leave the wharf every day, every 20 minutes, whilst we sipped our drinks at the riverside cafe.
the cafe by the river near the wharf that the boat to the island that I never went to but wanted to was (and my shoe and little messyfish's fan)

Its been raining today. We just got back from a run on the beach and little messyfish is having the worlds longest shower. Its fun here. Our room has been cleaned, the shower is great, there is air con, tv , wireless. The only problem is finding places for little messyfish to run, but if we go to the beach, and I can find the energy to keep up, then that is manageable too. so...if Hoi An doesn't work for us, we can always come back and find a hotel room. We will see. If its too busy an area, we will find an alley. If I love it so much, I will rent a house for 2 months, then go to Hanoi and Sapa before flying home. But then again, I am really into this travel thing. I could go to Chaing Mai for 3 months, then back to Vietnam? Or Laos? Hmmmmmm....the possibilities!!!

In the afternoon, we went to the beach with our traveller friends Vicki and Jen, sisters form Canada, whom I met in Saigon. Then we all went out to dinner. They took us to a restaurant that was upstairs and off the street. That was nice, though the food was average. It lacked that fresh edge of street food. I think street food is so good because they specialise in only one meal. Its fresh and hot and ready in an instant. The stall gets its reputation for its food. No nasty bosses screaming at poorly paid vietnamese staff. Generally it works out for me. Maybe because I was a chef and part of the hospitality industry for too long, I enjoy seeing a different way of providing good food to people, that is not caught up in all the pitfalls of a restaurant. Maybe thats why i dont like the western style restaurants. never the less, it was absolutely lovely being in a safe place with friends and sharing a meal. Jan was particularly kind to Little messyfish, because he took a liking to her meal. She shared nearly all of it with him. It was lovely being upstairs and off the street too. And all that made up for the "not quiet as good" food.

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