Mahatma Gandhi said “in order to find yourself, first you must lose yourself in the service of others”. While I don’t know if haggling, purchasing food from street stalls, or paying for transport is considered service; today I definitely found myself lost. And it was awesome.
Because of the time difference between New Zealand, Australia and Vietnam, I’m still finding myself waking up ridiculously early. Not that it really made much difference. By the time my body clock was ready to wake up at 5am local time, (which would have been 10am in New Zealand), it seemed the whole of Vietnam had beaten me to it. The sound of horns tooting and drive by traffic was already in full swing. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get used to that… and Da Nang (population 926,000) is no way near as busy as Ho Chi Minh (7.4million).
But no matter; I had five hours to wake up, get showered, breakfasted and over to IDC dental clinic for part two of my treatment. This hotel I’m staying at
is the bees knees. Awesome location, air conditioning, lovely staff, WiFi (which at first they’d advertised as “wife”; I’m still waiting for the nuptials), and breakfast. I’m not talking pancakes either; this was full fledged Vietnam style food:
Before I left NZ, my friend Rod told me to try all the things, so I endeavored to try as much as possible – except perhaps the really funky stuff. I saw a sign today that boasted of its snail and mussel menu
Yeah… I’ll pass thanks…
Anywho, the dentist was amazing – all female crew, all incredibly lovely and gentle, AND they saved me a butt load of money and pain today by doing actual WORK, (instead of making assumptions based on how much money they could screw out of me – sorry, a wee bit cynical!); looking further into my “teeth issue”, and realizing I didn’t need a root canal after all. Yippy! So a couple of fillings instead, and we’re ALL G! Thank you IDC Da Nang ! They were even kind enough to stop and take a photo afterwards 😉
Anyway, got back to the hotel, and read a few pages of a new book (since, alas, I’ve finished The Art of Asking ) called The Happiness Project , and realized four pages in that what the book was talking about, I was actively avoiding doing, so I decided to embrace the moment, and all that other Hallmark card / inspirational meme bullshit and go wandering.
Sorry grandma, I know you asked me not to ride on one of these, but given it seems to be such an integral part of Vietnamese culture, I decided to get amongst it a little bit – and it was rad! I have no idea what his name is, but he took me to an “American beach” on the other side of town – over the dragon bridge – and afterwards I decided to sightsee as much as possible, and find my own way back to the hotel.
I got lost.
And it was awesome…
This was the “American beach” that looks over to Buddha Bay, which is what that white statue represents
And I name this one… Boat Island (yeah, not very original)
Amongst all the chaos, I stumbled across two carvers that were in the middle of creating this beauty. The intricacies of the Buddha were stunning!
I’m yet to see ANY wildlife here, but I did pass by a dead frog 😦 RIP little guy.
I have NO idea what this statue is supposed to be, but it DOES look a little sexual… a bit like a penis and boobs.. but that doesn’t sound very Buddhist…
It felt a bit like a post card…
Smoking seems to be a huge thing here – EVERYONE smokes. So yeah, don’t know if this is MEANT to be an ashtray, but there you have it. Praising the almighty tobacco
Oh! And it appears not everyone here has the ability to shower… but here’s a place where they can! It’s like a drive in bathroom!
And… of course it’s important to disabled access to dark tunnels…
One of the things I like about Vietnamese culture, so far, is how simplistic it all seems to be – where people have beautiful gardens of fresh produce that they can spend their afternoons tending to.
There are HEAPS of statues and monuments around the place. I’m not too sure what the significance of all of them are, but they’re still rather stunning.
Anyway, it’s been a pretty massive day, and I need to get some dinner in me. Thinking I might pop over to Hoi An tomorrow, before I catch up with a chick from Couch Surfing – so I can actually get an insight into Vietnamese life from a local!
Till then xx