June 18, 2010

china beach

when i am sitting in a bus or a plane every time i look at my watch it is about two minutes from the last time i looked. when i am sitting on the beach every time i check my watch thirty or forty minutes have gone by. why does time go faster on the beach?

finally i have found a spot in Vietnam that i like. Hoi An is a smaller city with a historic old town that is well preserved and easily explored by bike. the beach is a 15 minute bike ride away. it is another UNESCO site that has been flooded with money. i am wandering the town and stumble across a restaurant called the Secret Garden and when i go for dinner the next night it is a little slice of heaven. i have become a bit wary of the food since i left Thailand and find myself eating more fried stuff instead of fresh local produce and my body is feeling the effects of a greasy diet. Ricardo, an expat and one of the owners, makes a recommendation to me on a local dish they prepare fresh and then invites me to see how it is prepared. wine glass in hand i sit down for a mini Vietnamese cooking class.

i get up at 5AM to go to My Son which is a 1000 year old ruin.  there isn't a tour bus in site and i really enjoy wandering around.  later i met a partner of Bazar, a restaurant in Hoi An, Fredrico who is an arechologist working on the site.  he told me it's quite dangerous to wander around the ruins because of the UXO.  i think it woud be quite ironic given all the concerns about my safety from family and friends if i ended up getting blown up by an american bomb.

here in Hoi An i find quite a few NGOs operating restaurants and shops and i appreciate the opportunity to give back in a responsible way. at a place called Streets the manager asks me how he can better market the restaurant and i give him marketing 101 on social media.

everyone who knows me well knows i can hike for 8 hours non stop but put me in a shopping mall and in 10 minutes i am exhausted and my feet hurt. so it has come as a great surprise that i have really enjoyed having clothes made here. i hope they turn out well.  i give up on going to the shop where there is no air conditioning and the lights are only on half the time.  instead i invite my tailor to my hotel where i usually have both lights and ac.
i meet so many wonderful people here and every day and night is filled with fun. several months ago they started planned power outages so every other day the power is out across town. talk about inconvenient! most hotels compensate by using generators but cut a/c and other services.   the place i am staying has a pool so it quite nice to cool off there. when asked the reason, the finger is being pointed to the northern friend [China] who is controlling the water flow on the river where power is generated. did i just blog about how China was going to do this exact thing in Laos?

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