Monday, June 07, 2010

Home, safely

So the possibility of blogging from beyond the grave never came to pass, as I did make it home safe and sound (sound being relatively-speaking, after all). Although I had pretty consistent internet access, I wasn't really able to blog. You see, I was not travelling alone, my companion doesn't know about the blog, and I still maintain a pretty strict separation betwix blog & real life. I don't have all my pictures organized yet, but I'll pick up where the unscheduled entries left off and post some pictures later...

May 24: Took the day off and laid on the beach. Played in the bright, blue water and got a slight-to-moderate sunburn. Had a basket of grilled seafood again, though not as good as last night's. The grilled prawns here (all throughout Vietnam, that is) taste like crawfish back home, which is probably not a good thing, but they're damn tasty. There is also a small, white clam about the size of a silver dollar that I really like. I'll eat a lot more of these before I leave.

May 27: Honestly, Hoi An was a let down. It was supposed to be this charming, ancient town full of old houses and character. It wasn't contrived but it didn't remotely live up to the guidebook hype. One review that I later read said that the town died of tourism. The most interesting thing was the cha gio (eggrolls) which use a glass-thread noodle wrapper instead of the traditional rice paper. Interesting and yummy, but not worth visiting the town. There is trash/litter everywhere, like most of Vietnam, but there's also actual dirt on the streets here. It's easy to spot tourists in this country: They're the only ones using trashcans. It is unfortunate that the average Vietnamese has so little civic pride/social responsibility that he throws his trash in the streets. They are, quite literally, living in their own filth.

There was a last minute change of hotels. When tattoo-girl saw the "budget" hotel (that she picked, by the way) she had a total meltdown. The hotel was doing some renovating and the smell of paint fumes was very strong, but overall the hotel was not as nice as the others we had stayed in, especially having come most recently from a Novotel. "It's disgusting and primitive," she said blubbering, although I contend that it was adequate: It had air conditioning, a regular toilet (not a hole in the ground), and a door that locked. But she was unconsolable, so we found another place in town and they were able to accomodate us. The replacement hotel was twice the price (still way cheaper than anything in America) and very nice, set up kind of like little villas with a very nice pool as well.

Down the road was a little shop advertising "Snake 7 Ways" but I couldn't find anyone to go with me. Hoi An also has a beach nearby, but having just spent two days in Nha Trang, I wasn't too interested. Along the road back to Danang is an area called Marble Mountains. The Hyatt Regency and a few others are in the process of building some HUGE resorts here and in a few years it'll be completely overrun. It is a beautiful area, so I completely understand wanting to develop it. On the other hand, it'll exploit the local population even more, further widening the divide between those with money and those without. Maybe there is something to all the rhetoric about overthrowing the bourgeoisie and advocating a proletarian revolution.



At 8:59 AM, Blogger Allie said...

glad you made it home safely hotpants!

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Zelda said...

What an amazing adventure. My higher nature has won out, and I've decided not to be jealous. But the possibility is always there. I can't wait to see your pictures and hear more. Let's meet up soon. I still have your number and we are not infrequently in your home town.

At 12:16 AM, Blogger Jammie J. said...

What a great trip... trip of a lifetime, indeed. Glad you were able to find accommodations that were suitable for all. A happy travel companion makes for a happy trip.

I am envious that you and Zelda can just "meet up."


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