Pretty bummed the desktop quality of these photos isn’t great. Meep.
I realized some time has passed since I last reflected on my experiences abroad, and although I’ve been journaling almost every day, I suppose it might be worthwhile to also share online what I’ve been going through.
I’ll keep it brief.
I spent the weekend with some friends from Fulbright. I wasn’t really expecting much except for beach days, good food, and great company—and that’s what I got. It was great catching up with friends and hearing about their experiences teaching while also having the opportunity to share how I’ve been doing.
On top of that, though, I really valued being surrounded by familiar faces whose voices didn’t make me feel…alone anymore. I’m looking forward to seeing these goons again.
So with that being said, I didn’t really take on the role of ~tourist (hence the lack of scenic photos). In fact, I slept in Saturday morning; everyone else (except for Danielle!) woke up early to hike the Marble Mountains. (Obviously, no regrets there!) I knew I would be coming back to Đà Nẵng in a few months for a separate trip. I decided that it would be then that I’d tour the area (+Hội An).
I just wanted a weekend to relax, sit by the beach, watch the waves, have good conversations, watch a movie, eat seafood, laugh.
Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. And check.
I spent my Saturday morning enjoying the views from Núi Bà Đen (or “Ba Den Mountain”).
I hopped on a cable car that took me about a third of the way up the 1000 meter mountain. After getting off, I hiked briefly up some pretty steep steps and rocks before calling it quits. I perused through some pagodas and temples, covering my nose from the fiercely burning incense. Despite the rain clouds looming over the city, the air remained crisp and fresh.
My friend and I enjoyed our one-night stay at this stylish AirBnB in District 1 of Sài Gòn.
It’s half-past five, and she’s beginning to rise.
She’s so warm this morning.
The locals, shuffling across their sampans, are sorting through and organizing their fruits, snacks, drinks, and lottery tickets. I watch as the women adjust their nón lá to shield themselves from the waking sun. The men, squatting over the boats to brush their teeth, spit into the river. I hear, faintly, their phlegm smack against the waves.
Smoke rises from a collection of slightly larger vessels. It catches my eye. I look over, and my nostrils instantly meet the smell of grilled pork and shrimp.
“Hungry?” auntie asks.
“I’m okay, it’s too early to eat.”
“Chị ơi,” she shouts over me, raising herself from our boat. She stands, and our boat leans towards her side. “Cho 2 ly cà phê sữa!”
Peering down at me, she asks, “How about coffee?”