It’s 8.50pm on a Wednesday (Wednesday!!!) and I have a million things running through my head.
I feel like this week, I’ve been the most boring traveler EVER. Mostly because I’ve been writhing around in pain for the first half of the week feeling sorry for myself regarding my root canal. Yeah, yeah, they don’t usually hurt or whatever, but as it turns out, the nerves in my mouth are slightly larger than normal (huh! Who would have thought?) so when the first stage of drilling the nerve out on Monday occurred, I actually had to stop the process early because my entire fucking body went into shock as they were rinsing my mouth, and hit on a raw (literally) nerve. The human body shall never cease to amaze.
Also, my body has gone into mad OMG-I-need-vegetables mode, and as a result is punishing me with severe cramps and aches. Most of what I’ve stumbled across food-wise in Vietnam has been noodles with a bit of meat, bread with a bit of meat, and rice with a bit of meat. Sometimes there’s a little bit of vegetable added for flavour (or decoration?) but it’s been pretty scarce – and with the no-salad rule that my concerned mother has put on me, I can’t really eat that either. So I went hunting… (how paleo, right? Haha)
The hotel I’m staying at is rad, as they give me buffet breakfast every morning. I discovered buffet also includes the option of an omelet (no cheese), so I’ve been doing that most mornings with as many veges as I can find, and watermelon. Tonight, however, I stumbled across an amazing American-owned restaurant called Bread of Life on Trip Advisor , and decided to check it out. I’m not going to lie, the menu looked appealing (WESTERN FOOD!!!) but the coolest thing about this place is, yes, it’s run by an American woman, but this American woman runs a home for deaf children. Pretty rad cause!
After the meal (seriously, so full), I decided to walk the 4km back to the hotel and check out the area a little bit. It’s in the fancier area of Da Nang “Ba Na Hills”, and honestly, this place is something else. Forget Auckland’s viaduct – Ba Na Hills is PACKED with people; which makes things a little awkward as a good majority of the footpath is either taken up by restaurant / cafe / bar tables, or peoples motorbikes.
There’s a crap load of restaurants (including a Mexican place called OM Pub and Restaurant which I’m pretty keen to check out), and coffee shop upon milk shop upon milk tea shop upon more coffee shops. There is, of course, your techno / live music / stock standard pubs and clubs too… I even found a New Zealand Ice Cream parlor! Aptly called “Kem NZ” (which literally means Ice Cream NZ). There are massage parlors here too (the PG kind, I mean), where women can get a full body massage for an hour for… wait for it… $15USD. That’s $20.50 in New Zealand. Yep. That’s me after my run tomorrow! It’s so hard to explain – The Ba Na Hills on a Wednesday night is almost like a pumping night out in New Zealand atmosphere-wise, but combined with the streets of Suva, a view of a beautiful river (and a few river cruises), the demographic of Mardi Gras crossed with Ponsonby, and the traffic of I don’t even know. Insanity.
I saw my first Vietnamese ambulance – a standard van with a siren placed on top; and my first motorbike policeman. The motorbikes here still buzz me out; the way people ride is ridiculous. You get women riding pillion with their legs daintily crossed because they’re wearing a formal skirt. You get people carrying random shit on the back of them – most impressive thus far, was a gentleman this afternoon (again, riding pillion) balancing two aquariums on top of the other whilst speeding down the road. And the number of families all riding on one scooter? Seriously. Little kids sandwiched between the parents legs at the front, or holding on sitting behind mummy or daddy – often without a helmet too. It’s nuts! It seems the first rule when it comes to traffic here is: there are no rules. Haha.
The number of smokers here is quite a bit to get my head around too – especially when there’s very few public rubbish bins, so the streets are often littered with butts and other bits of rubbish. Just… not what I’m used to.
Everyone is super lovely though – and most people are really willing to help in whatever way they can. I’m just looking forward to getting back to training and eating right. My body is screaming for some discipline again!! Might have to hunt down a treadmill (outside of the crossfit/TRX classes) though, because seriously. Fuck running in this humidity. It’s now 9pm, and still 30degrees outside with 76% humidity.