any bets on this man's age?
His face was just so beautifully characterful
2 April 2013
I think it must be travel fatigue. I am just not feeling this place. We woke up this morning in a windowless room and went out to find breakfast on the beach, but only found Russians. We are in Nha Trang for one day, to break the train trip from Hoi An to Saigon. We decide to rent two sun loungers for the day and lie on the beach.
The beach is pleasant enough, and there is a lot of people watching to be done. An ancient Vietnamese woman with a charming grin runs back and forth between loungers and restaurants bringing beer and coca cola to anyone with a thirst. She is tireless.
The pearl jewellery, conical hat, sarong, cigarette and zippo lighter vendors are jaded, but retain a sense of humour if you give them the time.
The Russians have invaded and the sunburned, gruff and rowdy, beer swilling, and mostly overweight sunbathers are intriguing to observe, but even more so is a very very weird little man who is lying a couple of loungers away from us. He is European, about fity-ish, with badly dyed hair. He has
sagging little moobs and hunched shoulders, with a Mr Bean posture with fluttering hands and blue white skin. His dangly bits are trying to clamber out of his floppy red tanga speedo which has sidled its way up his butt crack. As the shadows creep in, he shifts into the direct sun. It is hot and he is dripping sweat and suntan cream, but relentlessly follows the sun as it moves.
As we watch him he applies sunblock - and doesn't stop. He can't keep still or stop rubbing himself. We watch as he finishes one tube of sun screen, and starts on another. Within an hour the second tube is empty and he starts to water own the dregs to get at every single drop of cream. The stuff is so thick on his body that it is melting and he has sun screen running into his eyes. It is obviously uncomfortable and he is squinting and making faces, but instead of wiping his face he continues to apply the little cream he can still squeeze out of the tube.
Although peculiar to watch, this is not the creepiest thing about the situation. He is with a
weirdo of the day
Nha Trang beach, Vietnam
girl. A pretty young Vietnamese girl who is hugging the shade and is covered head to toe to keep the sun off. She is even wearing socks and a hoodie. This dodgy character is here for one reason alone.
We haven't seen as much of it here as in some other places, but they are here. The predators who can't get it without exploitation .....
The strangest thing about Nha Trang beach front is that during the day there are almost no Vietnamese around. We could literally count them on one hand. It felt like we were somewhere else, not in Vietnam. But, come sunset, everyone arrives and this is when Nha Trang started growing on us.
We went for a run along the mostly paved and gardened sea front and began running into locals. Everyone comes out with their families to fly kites, picnic, swim, exercise, and walk their dogs. It's amazing how having local people around can change your impression of a place. And a run also always gives me a better attitude towards life in general. We were finally starting to appreciate being here.
Dinner at Nha Hang Yen's Restaurant was also fabulous.
Nha Trang Beach
Before the sun came out
Excellent Vietnamese food, and as usual we ate too much, chomping our way through fresh and deep fried spring rolls, Vietnamese omelette, and tofu curry.
Then back to our windowless room to fall asleep listening to somebody up stairs vomiting violently for what seemed like hours. Up at five and back onto the train for another 9 hours to Ho Chi Minh City.
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