My departure from Sai Gon was not free of hassle and I had trouble with my “hand luggage”. It was more than obvious that my bag was oversized though inside the allowed measurements. I was stopped right before the security control and asked to weight my bag. Haha, sh*t. 13 kilos. The maximum allowance was 7. The man was directing me to the check in counter, despite I had my boarding pass, but I refused. He couldn’t understand me ‘because of my accent’. I was not happy with that response and just told him I would go to the toilet. My purpose: to drop as much weight as I could. How? Wearing everything on me, filling my day pack with the heavy stuff and getting rid of a few things, such as the stone I got previously so inconveniently. I felt sorry for that, truly sorry, bad luck will come, but it had to be done. I still wanted to keep the portraits and so I did.
I came back to the counter to weight my bag to realise I had to do it better. A couple of kilos better. When I got to 7.4 kg I stopped, headed to security control, called the man from before and informed him my luggage was now 7.4 kilos in case he wanted to weighted it. He looked at me, astonished. “But…you have everything on… “He couldn’t really believe it. “I know, I know” I replied. I explained to him that I had no money for checking in, that the bag was inside the allowance now and asked him if that was ok to continue. He couldn’t really refuse me; I was in distress and used my best pity face.
After my success, I went in and found out the flight was delayed of course. No worries. It was a nice short flight and I just arrived to Da Nang to get in bed. Next morning, I woke up ready for adventures but all I found was a grey cloudy sky and it kind of depressed me. No beach weather, despite there was a beach. And it got kind of late to go to explore the caves, I wasn’t really feeling like anything and I just thought I would get to have a walk, get lost, check things around and get to the beach to go for a stroll there. On the way to the beach, it started raining and I found coverage inside a shopping centre. So, I went shopping! It was fantastic to look around and I got to see stuff I liked in one the shops that included New Look and went to the fitting room not once but twice! I spent there almost 2 hours, trying things on, struggling with the sizes and looking at myself on the mirror with nice clothes on. I was about to get a pair of jeans even! But no, that would be too much and I was unsure if I really needed them. So I only got a pair of workout leggings that would come handy for trekkings and stuff.
After the shopping session I got to the beach, the sky was still grey and swimming was not allowed in the sea and you could see why: the waves were huge. I walked a bit and decided to take the way back by the dragon bridge. So cool! Only in Vietnam there could be such a thing.
Next day I woke up early I decided to look for adventures and change my depressive attitude. I headed to the Marble Mountains, where I would explore some caves, hike up and generally enjoy of the beautiful views over there. I loved it and I loved to be active, energetic and surrounded of nature. There was some cool climb through some cave and on the way I met an Italian guy that was right before me. The climb was not very easy and because I was following him, we engaged in small talk. When we got to the difficult part, he tried to help me out, but I like to do things on my own and only ask for help when I really need to. Despite my efforts of continuing the conversation, he wasn’t interested anymore. I suppose I was not the lady in distress he wanted me to be and he went in the other direction after a while. I thanked him for all his help and thoughtfulness all the time, but it seemed that it wasn’t enough. Sorry to be an independent person, but where is the excitement if you let everybody else to make things easier for you?!!?
On the way back to Da Nang, I had a bit of trouble with the bus fare and they tried to overcharge me but I insisted on what I gave was the correct amount and that was it. The outrageous happened when I took the same bus for a third time to go to Hoi An and they tried to charge me 100.000 vnd when the ticket was 20.000!!!! I got so annoyed. The lady got so annoyed with me. She invited me to leave the bus and I decided that I was going to play the game because I was not willing to get ripped off like that. So I made a move to take my backpack and get off when then, she changed the price and said it was 50.000 vnd. 50k my ass! No, no, no. She said it was because it was New Year. New Year?! Fuck off! This morning was also New Year! Then she appealed to the fact that I was carrying luggage. But the locals carry lots of huge bags full of veggies and somehow they pay the same? I could see how everybody in the bus was looking although nobody was willing to help me out. I didn’t care. At the end I ended up paying 30.000, which was still overpriced but I considered it wasn’t a huge lost and decided to save energies for other battles.
The curious thing that happened after is that a kid sat next to me and the man in the bus in charge of the door and the bags were super friendly to me. The kid was saying to me (somebody translated for me) that I was American. The man was asking me if in my country was very cold and he couldn’t get over the fact I was in shorts, as it is winter here. It was funny. They were also super interested in my mp3, for some reason. I offered them to listen to my music, but they refused. Strange.
At my arrival to Hoi An, I check in and went for a walk straight away, despite I had some mud in my legs from the morning. Yes, I am a pig but there would be time for shower later. In fact, I got wet half an hour later because it started raining quite a lot. The town was nice, but it was too crowded, even if the weather was crap. I tried to enjoy it but I just didn’t, for some reason. I am worried I was losing my travelling bug. I am unsure if it is the weather that gets me so much or the fact that I have to learn to be alone again or the lack of strong experiences and activity… How could I know? But, I do know that I am not ready to go home yet. I just need to find out what I want.
After the stroll around the Ancient Town, I met my two roomies, two girls from Norway quite nice and we went for dinner together. Unfortunately, they were not in a tight budget and were willing to splurge quite well as they had been food poison quite recently and they were picky with the food. I was dying to get something cheap and that was it, so we only enjoyed a nice nocturne walk around town that was looking as its best with the colourful lamps lighten and no more rain. Finally!
By the time I woke up next day, I was feeling lazy about going back to the same area and see the same thing. I mean, the town was lovely and gorgeous, but…more of the same? Somehow after a bit of doing nothing, a girl came up with the idea of going to the beach and I had to ask the natural question: Is it walkable distance? It was about an hour walking, so fair enough, I have nothing else to do for the day and that is what I will be doing today! It was not rainy although not sunny but perfect for walking a bit, stretching my legs and doing something. I walked past some rice fields, got the beach, found a nice spot, read there for a long long while… It was all I needed. The way back, about another 6 or 7 km was more of the same and I tried to go back by a local market I past before. I found it, stopped for looking around and food. Quite funny how locals were trying to help me with the way the noodles should be eating and what I should be adding to these.
I was happy with my day and didn’t do anything productive for the rest of it. I was taking it easy, too easy. But I was also quite excited about my next destination, Hue. Because Phuc, Mai’s husband, was from there and it just happened that he would be around for these days. Even Mai might be! So happy to see them again! So, I would be leaving happily to my next destination next morning and I couldn’t wait!