Weekend in Đà Nẵng

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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.

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Núi Bà Đen

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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.

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Awake

It’s half-past five, and she’s beginning to rise.

The sun.

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.

Breakfast.

Hủ tiếu.

Cơm tấm.

Bánh mì.

“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?”

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My first month of teaching.

You’ve got your good days and your bad days.

As a teacher, though, you’ve got your worst days and your best days.

I’m four weeks into teaching, and there’s a lot to reflect on. I’ve saved most of the details for my personal journal, but there are a few things I’d like to share. I haven’t really had the worst of the worst nor the best of the best, but I’ve certainly gotten a taste.

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