25 degrees C at 10:10 AM. This morning started out as quite clear and with glints of sunshine even, but a wall of heavy rain has just moved in from the direction of the sea. Funny how it comes and then goes so quickly here. I had my balcony door wide open but then had to close as the rain hits the tiles of the balcony floor so hard that they spray into my room quite a distance. My floor in my room is polished hardwood and gets quite slippery when wet, plus not so nice to walk on barefoot, so I try to keep it dry. And speaking of barefoot, here one never goes into a home (or even some businesses) with shoes on. That is a big NO NO! And one I can get behind. Much more sanitary to leave shoes at the door or even sometimes just outside the door. I think it comes from the fact that Vietnamese in the past (and I think safe to say some still do at present) ate/eat meals sitting on woven mats directly on the floor, or often squatting, and not at high dining tables like we do in the West. As well as there are little Buddhist shrines in every home or business that I've been to here where it is tradition/custom to kneel in front of in prayer. So a clean a floor as possible makes absolute sense. Something to keep in mind should one visit here from the west....shoes off at front door!
Image: Eco Green Boutique Hotel...where I am staying. Lovely! Everything about it. 😊 Bottom floor and second floor is the cafe and restaurant.
Image: View from my 9th floor balcony.
I said to my son the other day from the back of his scooter as we zipped along some little streets, horns honking from every direction and including his own, that never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined zipping around on a scooter along the streets of Vietnam someday! We both laughed and he agreed that it was quite the thing to be doing! Hahaa! And then add the wonderful fact that I have a beautiful Vietnamese daughter-in-law and two little half Vietnamese grandchildren living here, and it's all a definitely "pinch me, I must be dreaming!" feeling for sure!
Image: Surfer dude across the street heading to beach one block away to ride some waves
Aside from being on back of his scooter a couple of times since arriving here, I just yesterday was taken for little jaunts on backs of two others owned by two new Vietnamese friends I just made. Two lovely generous women who have taken me to go check out a few different rental apartment options. One of them took me during her little break from work as a receptionist at a luxury hotel, and in full garb of traditional Vietnamese dress called an "ao dai". It is just a gorgeous style of dress but also very practical with a long tunic style top hitting below the knee (or some even to ankles) with very high slits up the sides, and worn with loose and flowing pants...which always match the top in both pattern and fabric. Many are silk and embroidered and/or beaded in just stunning designs, and are so very beautiful. This friend who took me on her scooter was in a white one with red embroidery and trim along the borders. Really lovely. She was also wearing high heel open-toed black-strapped sandals, but none of this stunning and fancy looking attire stopped her from hopping on her scooter in the evening drizzle and take me flying down a bunch of little side streets to an apartment she knew of that was for rent. Although I'm not used to being on scooters and it's absolutely loco driving here, lol, I felt totally safe with her. And also filled with gratitude that she was doing this for me...a complete stranger who just happened to ask her if she knew of any apt rentals. The kindness of strangers. 🙏😊
Her name is Minh, and she is very young, maybe early twenties, and speaks really good English, as many seem to do here in this part of the city, as it is where many expats settle and most popular part of Da Nang for tourists because it is right beside the beach. My other new friend, Rose, also took me on her scooter for a quick jaunt to another possible rental option, and she is more my age and I meet her every morning now for a "ca phe sua da" (Saigon iced coffee I'm completely addicted to now, haha!) at the lovely little hotel cafe/restaurant 9 floors down from me (I'm on the 9th floor of a 10 floor hotel). She is so very friendly and sweet and interesting, and she even brought me a more traditional and delicious Vietnamese breakfast in a to-go container the other day...because, as she said in english, but with heavy Vietnamese accent, "I must be boring to eat the same same all time". 😊 ("same same"...you will hear this term ALOT in Vietnam. Not sure why, but who cares because I love it! And especially when they say "same same but different". 😁)
Image: A shrine in lobby of another hotel
Anyway, that is it for today as I must get out of my room now to go meet Rose! The sky has cleared a bit and no rain right now again....but I always have my little compact umbrella tucked away in my purse, and at the ready! As well as sunglasses...because, well, you never know which one you may need to use at any minute here during winter season in beautiful Vietnam! 🇻🇳 💗
Hope you all have a wonderful night/day, wherever you are! 🙏😊
Image: Happy Buddha!
Image: Another shrine in another hotel lobby
Image: Hard to see in pic but VERY fancy and ornate tiles in a hotel lobby with gold paint that glitters.
Image: A woman going through stuff to reclaim from what others have tossed. I've done this before! Haha! Very sad though if only way she has to survive...hoping not. I have yet to see one homeless person or panhandler here, and really praying that the basics of survival (food, clothing, shelter) are a considered a right here as they should be. It is a communist/socialist country afterall, so fingers crossed for her and others that at least these things are available for all of its citizens. As well as free, or very cheap, healthcare!
Image: Can't believe how much she can carry on that little scooter! The other side of it was also full of bags and stuff. I think the width of it all was the same as a car.
Image: A rather fancy hotel near me. Hotels are everywhere here, as well as cafes. TONS!
Image: A yummy yogurt, roasted oats, and fresh seasonal fruit drink.
Image: Some construction workers. I think they were hoisting up big heavy marble tiles. Of course the worker on the bottom is just in flip-flops, and sans hard hat.
Image: Always, ALWAYS keep eyes on the ground when walking on sidewalks. These are some sort of manhole covers, but they never hammered the rings down flush so a really big tripping hazard.
Image: A very funny "bathtub" and shower. Haha! This was in a bathroom of an apartment I looked at. Lol