Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Log/Pic 3 Nha Trang, Vietnam

So it was a great day. First, I just wanted to say that although we have primarily eaten at gross places on the side of the road, I have not gotten sick. I actually feel great because it's so hot I don't eat nearly as much as I'm used to. Punda got sick but kinda of a cold/flu thing on his birthday (April 30). April 30, 1975 is the day he was born. It is also independence day for Vietnam. It was cool to celebrate his birthday and Vietnam's, while in Vietnam.

I still love Vietnam despite the fact that everywhere we have been we don't walk three steps without hearing horns beep or people asking us if we "want motorbike, cyclo ride, buy cigarette or sunglasses." People always stare and talk to us. Most want something, but I have had some excellent conversations.

We left Da lat and took yet a 3rd "small " bus to our next location. This time to Nha Trang. We arrived in five hours verses six. This one did have an a/c so no complaint. I went diving with Rainbow Divers. I missed the van to take me to the docks so I had to get a moped ride from the lady at desk-glad I was late. It was a great trip. I saw lionfish and nudabranchs and experienced some awesome swim-throughs. We played Hackysac on the beach but replaced it with shuttlecock to be like the local kids. Shuttlecock is similar in that we balance it with feet, but its thin and has feathers. When we play at beach we always get company from locals.

We swam until dark, then some ladies selling stuff approached me, Punda, Zac and Ann, the couple from Singapore and Greece we have been hanging with. We joked and barganed with them for a bit then a family and their friends called us over to talk. We talk for hours. One girl-yen (pronounced "ing"), had just studied English in England for nine months and was desperate to talk. They took us to festival for independence and we sat in front. We got videotaped and were on local T.V. We saw the rest of the festival's dancers and preformers and then we said bye to our new friends. On the way home we played shuttlecock with local teens until midnight.

The next night we played pool with some Australian folks and after I walked Zac and Ann to their hotel. I continued to mine when I was approached by three prostitutes on mopeds. After a few minutes of conversation and gentle petting, they realized I was not interested and was not going to budge, they rode off. After turning the corner on the next block I was approached by another lady of the night and again refused before she could even get close. As I walked down the alley to my hotel, I realized that the first set of ho's had taken my money. I had been robbed! They had gotten 100,000 dong! Of course this was equivalent to about $7.50-. I was over it by the time I got to my room.

The last day in Nha Trang, we went to some temples and then to a 30 foot Buddha. When I reached the base we were taking pictures of kids playing and they came over to us, asked our names, and then gave us huge hugs. I was so happy, they were awesome. They showed us around and we gave them 1000 and 2000 dong coins. We got some good shots of monks, thanks to our telephoto lenses.

Back on the beach, me and Zac were swimming, everyone was saying hi and looking at us because we were different. Many kids and some adults rubbed my beard and sometimes my hairy arms and legs. I love it! Anyway this guy brings his 7 year old daughter over to me, hands her to me, and goes back onto beach. What do I do?

Next was a 12 hour overnight bus trip to Hoi an. We got a room in the most amazing hotel that cost me $7.50 per night. I swam in the pool for hours. I had been hot for two weeks, now I think I'm starting to get used to it. Being submerged in cool water felt great. I then slept for six hours, got up, watched some soccer, and sleep seven more.

We got up and rented mopeds for the day for less than 4 dollars. We drove to China Beach and then made our way up the whole coast. We went into Danang. We swam in the ocean, talk to locals, enjoy the sites. I am loving life! I have new pictures I will post next time. Eventually I will try to match photos with blogs, but I always have problems with the internet connection and using plugs to computer and camera.

love ya'll-blog ya soon, Larry

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