Monday, February 20, 2012

Vietnam (27) day 24 (20.2.2012)

I love the water gardens all over vietnam. they have little pottery bridges and pagodas, are usuually set in shallow concrete boxes and have miniature figs trees with interesting roots and moss and tiny little fish. We explore this one that was opposite our hotel in Nha Trang in depth whilst waiting for our taxi to take us to the train station.

Into our fourth week! I am excited to be leaving in an hour. We are packed and ready to go. Museli for breakfast, Little messyfish has eaten 4 eggs on toast, so all is good. I am anxious amd nervous and not very grounded as well. Its fear of the unknown, the illusion of control is no longer possible to hold on to. In reality I am not a fan of change or transition at all. Just like a little kid, I want to stay in the same place and do the same thing. Unlike a healthy adult though, if its not ok for me I find it almost impossible to move or find somewhere better. Anyhow, I am hoping the homestay will be better for us. I am hoping that a smaller town (Hoi An) will be better for us, with quiter streets, more places to walk. I really want to see some green expanses. I am missing the country. Mai Chau is a possibility too. I was not sure about it due to its lack of wifi and tv, but if we can get that then there is a big chance of going there after Hoi An. So now, I am thinking Mai Chau or Luang Prabang if we have the cash to fly there. It all depends on money at this stage. Vicki thinks SaPa ia not a great place for kids at this time of year. It is a treaking place and its a terribly tourist town. Slippery and muddy and steep etc. OK, so I swing form panic, to its going to be ok.. In the moment the highs and lows of life. As I say, we can always fly home if we are not enjoying ourselves. The purpose of this trip? Is for me to be stimulated whilst also getting a break. No cooking, washing or cleaning and most important, for us BOTH to have a great time.

Nha trang train station. Civilized, clean, air conditioned, has a snack bar, seats, friendly people. I would even have been ok not locking my bag to the seat to go up the the snack counter (of course...but i had heard stories so before I got there I was not sure. how silly hysteria can be) Its insane how worried I was...but then, i had been to kolkata's howrah station, so I was expecting the worst!

On the train from Nha Trang to Danang. Then a car to the homestay in HoiAn. It was hard at the train station, because little messyfish wanted to run and run. There actually was no platform! It was cement and train tracks. I had no idea whether a train would come hurlting along or not? So I had to keep little messyfish and my backpack away from the edge. It was hard. He was being very difficult and wanted to run around. I was being super safe and wanted him to stand next to me and the backpack. I also wanted to talk to the other travellers who were engaing me. So I stood and talked to them, whilst trying to hold onto little messyfish who was squirming and trying to get away. It was VERY stressful. I ended up having to entertain little messy fish, which menat that I could not chat to the Aussies I had met. This travelling on the streets with a 3 year old was getting hard and lonely. Next time, I will take a wheelie bag and the ipod will not be so precious that I dont sit him on it, with the iPod, so I can chat. I dont mean to give myself a hard time here, but I will not be nearly as uptight or fearful on my return trips. I am aware that the first time is always the hardest, and that subsequent trips will mean that I already know the basics, so will be able to relax in alot of areas that I was not able to on this first trip. I look forward to that!
Whilst little messyfish sleeps on the train I watch the rice paddies, damns, water buffalo and lotus flowers. I am reminded of my train trip in India. I am loving this trip. Being able to watch Vietnam pass by as my boy sleeps. I see vegetable gardens and rows of green shoots inside square bounds. If I was flying home tomorrow I would be satisfied. I want to own my own home. I want to grow vegetables and have ducks and chickens and quails for eggs, and anything else I can grow. Its very clear to me I want a quiet life in the country. Drawing and crafting and growing. Funny that just days before, I wanted an urban life, with people and lots of things to do. Its the country side and the craft and the local and the seasonal of Vietnam that I have come to see. Its so basic and natural and at the core of humanity of what is right and the truth.
Nha Trang train station air conditioned waiting room

Nha Trang train station

this was delicious train food, looks not so great but tasted delicious!

Not long after we were served dinner, the train stopped here for about 10 minutes. I watched each stall holder open up their steamers full of freshly cooked food. they made eye contact with me, and suggested I come out (as did many passengers) and get something. I didnt dare as I had no idea if I would miss getting back on the train...but if I was a solo traveller, I would have risked it for sure! There was so much good food and fresh snacks on offer. 

Each stall was narrow and seemed to line up with each door way of the train, thus the stall you would buy from would be the stall in front of the door you exited the train from. Each stall was run by a different woman, and they all looked similar. slightly different offerings in hot food, and the rest of the packaged goods, fruit, drinks seemed to look the same.

sketching with little messyfish's markers in the train. We had an aircon cabin with beds (soft sleeper), it came with a permanent little wooden table that I set up with our food and art materials.

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