Often, when life gets a bit stressful, I imagine myself on a beach lounger, a book in one hand, a cocktail on the table next to me, listening to the waves on the shore and keeping a lazy eye on the kids in the water. In my imagination, the beach looks something like Nha Trang:
But all this couldn't make up for the fact that we became anonymous wallets in a dirty, sad city. And that, for us, is the worst part about being a tourist; when our only value is in our economic activity. Nowhere else have we experienced this more acutely than in Nha Trang.
Here is a tiny story for you. Whilst in Hoi An we visited a souvenir shop. The young owner was chatty, and we got to talking about our kids. Later that night whilst we were in a different part of town, he came looking for us to introduce us to his baby son. Those of you who have experienced Vietnam might think it was a ploy to get us back into his shop - but it wasn't. He genuinely wanted us to meet his baby and we were genuinely pleased and honoured to do so.
We've had tiny encounters like this nearly everywhere on our journey. They have given our holiday meaning and have brought us joy. And when this type of connection is missing it's very noticeable. A place with no soul is no fun at all. But we did get nice tans. And the cocktails were pretty awesome (Wait - it's Vietnam, the cocktails are ALWAYS awesome!)
My best week is this week because we went to Vinpearl island. The island is basically Rainbows End except with a beach right outside and three hotels. I enjoyed the roller coaster and the swing carousel - it was like a swing except it spins round and round and you relax the whole way.
I met a monkey. He was a pig tail. He had beautiful red hands which felt like rubbing your hands on grass, just not cutty grass. He checked for nits in my hair. He tugged my hair like he was trying to pull the nits out. After we patted the monkeys we started the Eco tour. Hai took us. We got to see how monkeys get trapped. I'm really disappointed that people trap monkeys but the Eco trip was the best thing that's ever happened to me.
Fireflys are very rare around Vietnam. You can't walk into a jungle and say Oh, firefly, oh look another firefly. You should try saying firefly 10 times. It's hard. But I caught one and it went on my arm. It tickled so much I nearly wet myself.
The food here is very unique. They add a truckload of sugar to everything even the toast. I like the toast it's better than tip top. We went to this place called the secret garden in Hoi An. It was hidden behind all the shops. Dinner was amazing. I got awesome special chicken nuggets, and they were nothing like nuggets in NZ. Next week I will talk about inflatable land because it's 4.30 and me and Dad are going for a swim.