Day XXXII – April 19
This morning we wake up with a new guy in our room. He tells us about his adventures with his Honda Win which he’d bought for $125 in Hanoi about a month ago. He and some friends are driving down the freeway to Saigon. It’s a popular way travel this country, and sounds very appealing to me.
He tells us that whenever someone broke down, within 10 minutes a local would have arrived with the knowhow and facilities to repair the bike. The total of his repair costs so far: $25.
All these stories, even with the horrors of crashes and burned legs on exhaust pipes –everybody appearently gets those- make me that much more excited to come back to Vietnam and see this beautiful country’s hidden backyard, the pure local life you don’t get to see from the bus.
I am very glad I came, despite rushing through in just 9 days. But it is just a taster. I’ll be back.
Jenna is having trouble with her bankcard and it looks like that will take up all her time today, so I say goodbye to the friend that was probably the closest to traditional backpacker-friendship; no hassle, no exchange of info, no foamy “We’ll stay in touch”, just a hug and a “Nice to have met you, have a good trip!”
I rent a bicycle to go to the other beach by myself. This one is more beautiful, calmer, quieter; the road there is even more intriguing, taking me through fields and that backyard I just mentioned.
Today it’s sunny, that should help too. And again I can’t get over how marvelous the ocean is!
In the early afternoon I ride back to Hoi An and it’s smell of incense, and get my buspack ready; some sodapop, some water, some Oreo’s and other snacks; I’m looking at 48 hours of pretty much non-stop, all the way over to Siem Reap.
Before I get to the bus I grab a quick bite with a street vendor. The place is crowded with kids still in their school uniforms; like all local clothing very pretty by the way. The boys’ are a lot like you’d expect them, suited up; but the girls wear beautiful white silk pullovers that split at their waist and hang down like gowns to their feet, over charming pants.
Again one of the parents that does speak English helps me out, points me to a seat and presents me with a plate of today’s dish: a fried bowl of dough with egg in it and some salad floating in a sort of sweet chilli soup and a pork sausage, 15.000d; a 10th of what I paid the other day, and extremely tasty!
At the bus agency I meet some Ausies, Kiwies and UK’s, young and elder couples and solo travelers; this ride’s much more international and I actually have people to talk to on the way.
Until lights-out at 8pm, when we all sort of doze off.