Dec 5, 2022
Some more observations and a few thoughts from me here in Da Nang...
From my hotel room I hear the hammering of metal on metal as some workers build what looks like an outbuilding of some sort using great long pieces of rebar. It is just across the street from me and behind another hotel. I know from my little jaunts yesterday that I learned that construction workers here often work just wearing flip flops (and even when loading up bricks!), no safety helmets, and more often than not with a cigarette hanging out of their mouths, haha!, and so while it's all quite fascinating to see I kind of cringe and cross my fingers for their safety when I am watching any sort of building construction here.
It is raining quite heavy on and off and the heavy thick clouds blanketed overhead match the colours of the varying tones of greys and whites of the cityscape within my view. These clouds have blotted out any view of the dark jungle mountains in the distance, but I can still see the ocean. The South China Sea. (Although I heard the Vietnamese don't really like it being called that as it is not part of China, but of Vietnam. I will need to ask what I should call it, as I totally get how Atlases too often label places with names given by colonizers, and I want to be respectful to Vietnam.)
The waves are quite big and frothy, and roll in as same colours of the sky, but the bay itself has hints of a bit of blue and green as you look farther from shore, and with a few tiny lights bobbing from swell-tossed boats in the further distance. The beach sand that I can see from here looks darker than it is when not soaked by the rain, and appears almost a light tan or caramel colour rather than the white it is, and the palm trees bend and sway as the ocean winds buffets their full leafy branches.
I see lots of scooters, the main mode of transportation here, zipping along the paved beach road, and the billowing raincoats of their drivers. It is not high traffic time, so I hear only a few little beeps every once in awhile from them giving warning to other drivers or pedestrians to "look out, I'm coming through!". Crossing a busy street here, or most streets actually, lol, gives me such anxiety! Just Google on YouTube "how to cross a street in Vietnam" and you will see why. Although there may be marked crosswalks in some areas, they mean nothing. Absolutely nothing. If you think anyone will stop for you you would be wrong. It's crazy. All you can do is look both ways, especially for cars and trucks as they can't either swerve or stop so quickly as a scooter, and then TRY to make eye contact with drivers coming right at you...and then just go for it! Putting your arm up is also a good idea though too, so makes you that much more visible, and never run or even quicken pace, definitely do not change direction or, god forbid!, stop. The scooter drivers are quite amazing and expert at judging how to get past or around you without hitting you...but only if you abide by the advice I wrote above, haha! All in all this "organised chaos" seems to work very well, as surprisingly not many vehicle/pedestrian accidents seem to happen. Still I dread having to cross main streets here...and especially alone. I always pray that a local will be crossing too so I can just go with them, although that can be even more terrifying as they seem fearless, lol.
Well now time to go downstairs for brunch and my elixir of the gods... my Ca Phe Sua Da (Saigon iced coffee). I feel I am finally adjusting to 11 hr time difference here, but still a little foggy-brained. Going to see my sweet little grandchildren later and I just can't wait for that! Oh my, but how dearly precious those two little human beings are to me.
Hope all is very well with you all!