A few people have asked me why I’m not blogging anymore and the general reason is because my life here in Quang Ngai has pretty much slotted into a routine of yoga, teach, eat, sleep, prepare lessons, and occasionally go out with the gang on a special occasion. I’ve watched so much Netflix over the past while I could write a blog and dissect each series I seem to fly through weekly.
Living in a country is very different to holidaying in it. I will go away from this experience with very few memories of beautiful white beaches and sipping on tropical cocktails. It’s been made up more of learning a new culture, learning a new vocation, living a new life really.
However, recently, the boyfriend came to visit and so we did manage to have two nights away from it all. Unfortunately only two because I still had to work but boy, did we make the most of it.
He arrived in Ho Chi Minh City after a total of 20 hours and one stop over. Because that was already a really tough trip for someone who hates flying (and is also a heavy smoker) I decided to meet him in HCMC and we could spend the night and then do the last leg of the flight back to QN together. We spent an awesome night reconnecting. After not seeing each other for 6 months I was like a shy virgin when we saw each other again. Needless to say that did not last long! Luckily for Dan we did it that way because the next day our flight back was delayed by 3 hours. I was just so happy to be together again that I didn’t mind that we were stuck in an airport for 6 hours drinking and chatting and catching up. It was difficult for him because technically he hadn’t yet arrived and no matter how happy he was to see me, he was still in transit and just wanted to get there! I on the other hand have literally not had such a good time in an airport before. Made me realise how long it’s been since I was sitting and chatting to someone totally comfortable being there and not wanting to be anywhere else in the world.
When we finally took off I was seated next to a lady who kept sleeping on my side of the arm chair – no sense of personal space – then at the end she puked so was obviously not feeling very well. Shame. The next big thing was the bus ride home. This was the start of the many ‘What the actual fucks’ which came out of Dan’s mouth during the holiday. The roads and the way people drive here is just ridiculous. The bus would overtake a truck in the face of oncoming traffic, there are small scooters on the side of the road, vying for space too! All just so crazy! He had quite a few more grey hairs by the time we got into town.
Because I was working and because it was so hot we spent a lot of time just chilling. The one week he was here recorded temperatures of 45 degrees – it was insane!
We went to the beach one of the days and I had told him to bring jeans and a jacket because riding here you have to cover up. It’s so hot but if even one part of your body is exposed, you will burn really quickly. Anyway, it was so hot he couldn’t bear the thought of jeans so we covered him up in my sarong and off we went. Usually the beach is quiet and chilled during the week and it’s a good way to relax and chill out. Dan could not believe the warmth of the water. It literally doesn’t feel any different from leaving the land to putting your body in. Not my cup of tea but it’s still nice to get all salty and wet.
Our one splurge of the holiday was that we hired a car and drove to Hoi An for a night. I recently visited Hoi An with a friend and we drove on a scooter there. NEVER AGAIN!!! I really thought that my life might end that trip. It’s the same road as we came back from the airport on so its the trucks and the busses and everyone vying for space on the road. And when you are a mosquito and the thing next to you is a dinosaur, its pretty scary. All that would maybe even be ok if there wasn’t the strongest wind trying to push you into the mouth of the dinosaur. So driving was great. Except that Dan had to drive, on the wrong side of the road, in that traffic. Considering how much he moans about everything I think he did a sterling job. And to actually navigate that road and all the stuff on it – I take my hat off to him, I really do.
So we stayed in a VERY fancy resort for the one night. It was between the beach and the river so had a view of both. We basically had a full day and a half there and we spent a lot of it on the beach and by the pool drinking cocktails and relaxing. In the night we went to Ancient Town and walked around for a bit – the lanterns and lights there are just so so stunning. Then when we got back we went back to the beach and stayed there talking til about 1:30. I even skinny dipped! To do it in water that feels like bath water is pretty damn surreal.
I’m glad we got to go away because it showed the vast difference between how the tourists see Viet Nam and how it really is. To see so many white faces on the beach and people speaking with Australian accents (pretty much everyone at the resort was Ozzie) was just crazy. Dan found the experience really insane. He struggled with the heat but loved the fact that you can smoke anywhere. He struggled with the road rules or lack of them (and never did get over that). He loved the food but hated the beer. He loved that whiskey is so cheap here but hated that wine costs the same as whiskey. (And it’s not even good). He loved the visit but hated the fact that he was leaving me behind. 😦 It was amazing having him here but made me super homesick. Hopefully I’ll be getting a visit soon from someone else near and dear to me! 😉