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Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang
July 8th 2011
Published: July 8th 2011
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the shift key doesnt work, so thats why this blog will be missing shift necessary elements.

bia hoi. the cheapest beer this side of the mississippi. actually in the world. less than 50 cents for a liter of home brewed beer. it was nha trang that introduced me to this novelty. an old run down german drunkard named bobby. what a guy. nha trang is the first beach city on my list. its a party town with tourists zipping in everyone direction. in all honesty, its not my favorite place because it does not offer much relaxation besides laying on the beach which i have trouble doing. instead i did what i always do....roam the city to see what i can see. lots of street vendors selling pate and pork sandwiches. delish. at 6 dollars a night for my own room and balcony i was able to splurge. i bought a beer costing 1.5 dollars. first and only beer so far that has had any flavor, but it was not until after that i found out about bia hoi. now its just cheap beer when i can find it. there are many tourist offerings in nha trang...monkey island, an amusement park, scuba diving, or an island tour. monkey island was too much of animal cruelty mixed into a theme park...so i skipped it. scuba diving...nobody had very good things to say about the diving here, so i skipped it. amusement park....i get enough thrill just crossing the streets and riding on the buses at night. so i did the island tour. guess what, its low tourist season so it should be nice. well... its also high season for vietnamese tourists. my tour operator did not inform me of this until boarding the bus. i got put onto a boat with 40 vietnamese people, none of which spoke english, and i was the only western tourist. our tour guide only spoke vietnamese over the loud speakers as well. you think i got a lot of stares...nobody said a word to me for the first 4 hours. i can only say hello in vietnamese, but felt quite out of place even doing that much. our first island stop was more of the same. instead of 40 vietnamese, there were 300. no westerners at first glance. so instead of swimming in the ocean with everyone and being paranoid about my bag and camera, i took a long solo stroll down the coastline of rocks. i found plenty of solitude and beautiful views that i didnt have to share with anyone. after an hour of enjoying the peaceful ocean, i headed back to the boat and took a quick dip in the ocean.

a beautiful lunch was provided on board the boat, but it was everybody sharing the food. not speaking vietnamese, i wasnt sure when to start or how it all worked. some people started, but nobody began to just dig in. so i waited in my silent little world. i was finally given the nod to eat. yes..... but i didnt want to be the asshole eating all of the food so i took a small share. a woman with about 5 kids began to use her motherly touch and saw how out of place i was. she began to hand me bowls of food. one dish after another. no words were passed, but enough body language and smiles to get a proper understanding. this just about made my day. it was very sweet.

next came live music. we tied up with a couple other boats. still no other westerners. when there is a microphone and a live band, guess what happens. karaoke minus a screen spelling out the lyrics. i wasnt sure if people were volunteering or getting chosen by random. now guess what happens when you are the only white person aboard the 3 ships. you get pulled onto stage to sing. talk about uncomfortable because i am sure most of you have heard me sing. here is the one bonus. these people dont speak a lick of english. i can sing or say whatever i want. i can mess up the lyrics and speak in rammbles. it doesnt matter. so i did. but they didnt want just one song. they wanted 3. they got 2. a litte doors and sublime did the trick. this was a turning point in the day. afterwards everyone wanted to talk to me. it knocked down the barrier that was up all day. it was wonderful and it was swimming time. jumping from the top of the double decker boat and a floating wine bar in the water. i received many hellos, where you froms the rest of the afternoon. we had a great time and it was a wonderful day. i am very glad i was out of my comfort zone and hanging out with no other westerners.

at night, i took full advantage of bia hoi. i went a bit overboard. i met some older english and australians that got me bamboozeled.it was wonderful until the next day. i spent the entire day in bed hurting. hangover tend to get worse when its 90 degrees out and humid. none the less. i had enough strength to buy a bus ticket out of town and eat 1 meal. fresh caught squid steamed in garlic and ginger. what a dish.

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8th July 2011

glad you are still enjoying the journey
I wish I could hug that mom of 5 who took you under her wing. Momhood is universal! I love the education you are getting in just understanding people James...nothing in college could have taught you this! Stay safe, have fun...love you so much! Mom

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