As part of being ‘a traveller’ I am learning to take down time. That is slowing down, sitting and watching, sitting and thinking, wandering the streets with a vague direction but no definite plans, and even just staying ‘home’ – wherever that might be at the time – just pottering, playing, writing or resting. Although people refer to my trip as a holiday, that is never how I viewed it, and still don’t.
Its a learning, personal and even professional development trip. Not so much rest and relaxation as stimulation and ongoing change.
In Ttis way I still discover – new drinks like Saigon cold Vietnamese (strooonng) coffee with milk and ice, or in this case I think just ice!! I met a Vietnamese psychologist who lives in France, and speaks French as well as clear English. We made eye contact as I walked along the Son river bank, just wandering and looking around; he said Bonjour, I hello and then we sat a while and chatted, making vague arrangements to, possibly meet tomorrow. I thanked him for the chat and hugged him, he held on tight and kissed my cheek, saying he believed the English are reserved. My reply is I’m different, I offer hugs and make the personal connection we were discussing.
I’ve seen real life in Da Nang’s roads and streets, eaten in the cafes and now at Lotteria fast food, too. I’ve seen their impressive local Administration building (civic centre) across from the two story old French yellow colonial building where it used to be, so my friend told me, at least three of the many Son bridges including a photo of the newest Dragon bridge.
I think I’ll stay here to eat too, across from the river, see how the bridges light up and either wander back if I feel safe and confident enough, or a taxi.
I wandered on as food finished before I had, and found the back road full of hotels near the one I nearly tried first!! The Retro Bar next door looked nice so tried it. Lovely decor, brick and dark wood, candles and a la carte menu, the food a little nouvelle cuisine so burger it is, like my Friday nights with Kath in our local village haunts including the glass of Merlot!! wearing my Hoi An tailor made orange sandals too and my floaty dress that I love, safe from the downpour that’s been threatening and now arrived!!!