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Published: December 3rd 2012
not everyone is tall enough to look over the handle bars...
The next morning in Buon Ma Thuot, while we waited for the bike we indulged in the unexpected middle-class atmosphere and went shopping. After having seen nothing for sale for days except bare necessities (and most of the time not even that), the novelty of fashion proved too overwhelming, and we left empty-handed.
We had high ambitions to see Dray Sap and Dray Nur Falls, as well as drive to Dalat, but as usual things took longer than we hoped and after the seeing the waterfalls our shadows became too long to dare to drive any further.
We stopped on the outskists of Buon Ma Thout, at a little guest house where we caused a huge commotion again. People were running around, fixing the room, spraying it with air freshener, they unpacked our bikes for us and folded our tarps, guided us in and did everything but undress us to get us into the shower. Funny how staying at the cheapest, most out-of-the-way places actually translates into celebrity treatment (even though the accomodation isn't, of course, but a fan, clean sheets and a lukewarm shower is a dream after a day on the road).
They sent us down
Dray Nur Falls
The falls was kinnda dry for the season, but it was still a nice sight
the road for dinner, it was dark and all there was was a dirty old-west style shack, with some makeshift tables and a tiny coal-burning clay stove. The woman making bán xeo (crispy egg and rice pancakes with dried shrimp and beansprouts) over the fire had a dusty, snotty child on her hip. The floor was covered in trash, and there was a tiny hairless chicken clucking around.
We were immediately greeted with nothing but smiles, ordered our dinner and made them laugh with our Vietnamese, and along with our food came an older man out of the shack, and began writing us notes in impecable English. He spoke very little, but when we wrote back and forth he told us of his being a teacher, and speaking Russian, and asked us why people come to visit the fjords of Norway (this after weeks of us giving up on telling people where we come from, as no one has heard of it and pointing to a map, is, well, we've talked about this already).
As we had once again ordered two beers but gotten four (and they did not sell beer there, so in typical Vietnamese style they
Sadie was trying to have a simple conversation with the kids, but they only looked funny at her
had just gone somewhere else and bought the beers for us), we asked him to join us. We soon realized he was actually running a class in the shack, and he excused himself for being so busy and left. We played with the children, and took pictures of them and showed the women there, all were amused at every shot.
The dinner was so cheap – and they so poor- that we hid some money under our plates and walked away without turning back (tipping is a foreign concept where there is no tourism, people often come running after us if we acknowledge hearing them), though we were followed all the way to our guesthouse by the children.
As we have said before, our best experiences are when we are in places not worthy of any guidebook, where the people do not speak English, and we
are the novelty, not them.
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