Arrived in Mue Ne and thoughts on Vietnam
25.10.2008 - 26.10.2008 86 °F
Arriving to Mui Ne via bus wasn't the horrible experience that I could have imagined. The ride was smooth (actually not, but I managed to sleep through most of it). We stopped about half-way for a break and I headed to the bathroom while Kim and Mike got some snacks. We ended up all trying some sort of pork wrapped in dough with tiny little eggs inside. It was an interesting flavor, I'll admit. None of us ended up eating them. I am terrified of eggs...but that's another story. We opted on the chips and peanut brittle instead.
Dinner at the hotel was ok, but I'll remember next time not to get the pork. It was pretty difficult to chew, but otherwise a decent meal. I was able to satisfy my craving for RICE, and Mike indulged with me. We shared a couple of beers and off to bed for me. I think that the jet-lag caught up with me. I slept nearly the entire 4-5hr bus ride then to bed early and here I am awake at 0700.
The coffee here is amazing! I bought myself some grounds and a coffee-maker (dont worry, it isn't near as large as my Cuisinart at home! It will actually fit into my backpack! I only need to find a way to make hot water and I will be in heaven with my own coffee in my room!
There is supposed to be wireless access here at the hotel restaurant, but the signal is so low this morning that I am typing this and going to post it later. Hopefully I wont lose this one.
So far, the beach is much more peaceful than Saigon. I was happy to see Saigon behind me as we drove out of town. I don't know that I am looking forward to returning on the end of my trip. It's my understanding that Hanoi is much the same as Saigon, but I will overlook that in anticipation of Halong Bay.
I'm not sure how long I will stay here at Mui Ne . Long enough for sure to see Kim and Mike do some kite-boarding! Kim seems a little worried that the month away will cause here to have lost all her new-found skill but I am confident that she will do fine. I'm really looking forward to watching them up close!
It's overcast here in Mui ne this morning. But the air is a little cooler and no rain...yet. When I woke this morning, I walked out on the balcony and the water is beautiful. The China Sea...I think? The fishing boats are all over and not surprisingly, it looks exactly like the many pictures that I saw when planning my trip. I took a few quick shots from the balcony but hope to get to the fishing village and get some close-up interactions with the local fishermen.
Just a few thoughts that I have noticed so far about the culture here:
There is a lot of sitting around! Everywhere you look, there are people (men in the majority), sitting around drinking coffee/tea/beer on these little plastic garden chairs. You know, the kind that you buy at Wal-Mart. Only, they use the kids chairs instead of the full size ones!
There is a lot of Sweeping going on. You can look far and you will find some Vietnamese woman or girl with a broom in her hand sweeping the steps, the sidewalk, or the road! It's a constant thing.
Uniforms. It would seem that every place of business has a dress code of sorts. Usually simply a shirt of the same color. While walking around Saigon, I noticed that the nail/hair salons have quite an interesting dress code that I am sure the men in America would enjoy. Tight skimpy shorts and top or short, tight dresses. I didn't get any pictures. (sorry Dad).
Moto-bikes, moto-bikes, and more moto-bikes!! Enough said...
Work ethic. It seems that although life is laid-back, there is a lot of work going on. Everyone seems to know what their job is and they appear to take it seriously. People seem content at working. I don't see the unhappiness that I find in America. Everyone seems to know the job that they need to do and go about it with a good attitude. And although I noted earlier that there is a lot of sitting around, there is also a lot of hard work going on.
Smoking. Being a smoker, I have of course noticed the smoking culture. It appears that most (if not all) of the men smoke. I have not yet seen one Vietnamese woman smoking. Smoking is allowed everywhere.
The last thing that I will comment on is the attitude toward women (so far). I have found that the Vietnamese men seem to have a much different attitude toward women than American men. I don't see men leering at the women, no matter how beautiful. The amount of respect toward women seems great. Although I will note that it seems that the women do all of the domestic chores and the men seem to have a lot more leisure time than the women. The dating/courting would seem to be quite different also. I have seen many couples siting idely at the park on benches enjoying time together. Simply sitting close, holding hands and enjoying each others company. It's very sweet to see.
I am going to leave you now and enjoy my iced Vietnamese coffee....life is good!