Two Savages in Southeast Asia

Harboring Americans

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Ice a slow aerosol
Rising in Vietnam heat
Keeping food fish fresh.

We actually loaded our bags from Daniel’s house for the last time today, and the motorbike again struggled to make it up the hill back to the main road. With the two of us at 70kg each and the bags weighing an additional 20 or so, I had to jump off and push to get the 175cc automatic all the way to the top. It’s a steep hill.

We drove through amazing, sweeping countryside on beautiful, new road. Waterfalls fell along our path. Tour busses stopped alongside the road to take photographs. We wound slowly out of the highlands, being reminded by degrees of the oppressive heat everywhere else in the country. An uneventful drive brought us to Cam Ranh, the home of our next host. We stopped at a supermarket for a quick lunch (it was our only bad food experience in Vietnam… the fish they served was just horrible) and to meet our host, Tanya.

Tanya brought us back to her family’s house. She’s a high school student in her 12th year, studying for the university exam next year and taking extra physics and math classes in the summer. Her brother has finished school and has a job in town. Her parents, both named Phung, are biology teachers. They host on Couchsurfing for Tanya to practice her English, since she wants to go into PR and thinks it will help her. Her mom fixed us a great lunch to make up for the horrors we consumed at Coop Mart, and Tanya led us on a walk to the harbor.

Along the way, we passed great piles of what looked like salt. Tanya told us that it was white sand, destined to become glass. She also said that Singapore buys sand from Vietnam to fill out the beaches on its resort island, Sentosa. Also we pass by a couple temples and an ice-making factory, just at the edge of the harbor. Motorbikes loaded with steaming ice blocks travel the short distance to the docks, where the ice is loaded onto boats for fishermen to keep their fish fresh.

All the boats are blue, and the sunset is beautiful. On the way back home we stopped for Banh Xeo, a dish famous in Cam Ranh that consists of a pancake covered in seafood. It was a most excellent end to our day, and we headed home for rambutan dessert. It’s nice to relax sometimes.