Sunday, December 19, 2004
We emailed a while and then headed back to the hotel. Since it was around 7pm and we thought our bus was showing up at 3:30am, we thought it prudent to grab a bottle of water from the restaurant next door and then play cards and sleep. That was the plan.
Wait. Before emailing, we wandered the city. Not many whities come here as far as we can tell. The markets, full of trinkets and stuff in most cities we've been to, instead catered to the local people and their everyday needs. We stuck out. Interestingly, the only person who called to us in an attempt to make a sale was a woman selling huge chunks of meat. Hm. Eventually we found ourselves on the outskirts of town wandering past grazing cows (don't worry, they also graze in town) and soccer games and school children and everyday life. We were the subject of much interest and got many 'hellos' and waves and....whatever it was they said in Vietnamese. Very cool, very friendly and warm people here.
Our lunch had been in the restaurant next to the hotel and the old guy (owner? Not sure what else he is unless he's the crazy old coot that always hangs around) remembered us and quickly had someone else fetch us water. While we waited, 3 guys (50s-ish) sitting by the front door drinking beer insisted we sit down and drink with them for a while. Not people to piss off the locals, we acquiesced (I love that word!). Their english was very good. The doctor (internal medicine) was quite drunk and told us: we look like movie stars, Rachelle is very beautiful, I am very handsome, Bill Clinton was very handsome, that I look like Abraham Lincoln. Must be the beard. The economist kept ranting about...who knows what. A philosopher at heart, he kept proselytizing in very serious almost mad tones....and would then burst out laughing saying he had no idea what he was saying. The philosopher was the soberest seeming. We discussed different authors (he has many passages from "1984" in a small notebook he carries around), and thanks to R's suggestion I ended up giving him my copy of Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse 5'. In all it was great fun. There was a crowd around us for a while, not understanding but entertained all the same. Before we knew it a couple hours had gone by and the doc and philo had to scuttle home to their wives who kept calling asking for them. The economist kept ranting (his wife is in the States? We never quite understood) until we made our leave to head to bed. Very very entertaining. They insisted on a picture which we obliged them with. Just gotta email it on.
The wait staff was quite entertained when we rolled out of bed (again) at 10 and had lunch. The old guy laughed and said "too much beer". Rachelle then informed him how unfair and not nice it was of the bus to not show up. I gurgled out a request for coffee
It's 2:15 pm now. Maybe we should get back to the hotel in case the bus comes earlier. Bastards.
Now it's on to Hoi An, a quiet little beach-ish town just south of Danang. I'll let you know how it is.
We don't have enough time here!!!