After last nights activities and festivities, I did not see the literal light of day until just before noon. Despite the day being clear as ever and hot as can be, I had woken up far too late to make the day trip that I had planned for in which I would have rented a motorbike to drive out to Tam Dao to be back in nature amongst the hills and mountains where my soul deserves to be. Instead I contented myself with buying some overpriced Bun Cha (dry rice noodles with grilled meat) for a late breakfast and then begin a walk around town towards the lakes south of Hoan Kiem that rarely a tourist ever seems to visit. Since I have gotten little to no exercise I took this as an opportunity to get my feet moving and realize how gravely out of shape I am. I feel like I am withering away with muscles (ha muscles) showing little to no appearance and exhaustion ever present when a flight of stairs calls my name. Who needs Halong Bay when I can walk around a lake aimlessly by myself? I did enjoy the humorous sight of locals all the way from grannies to youth dancing for exercise to the tune of upbeat music. Maybe it is just me as a foreign outsider but goodness do Asians have bizarre mannerisms. Even though what they do is completely normal to them, I can’t help but chuckle with the best people watching right before my eyes. Only one bothered to actually have a conversation with me and we talked for quite awhile until we got onto the topic of my plans to possibly go see Jurassic World. He offered to drive me to the cheaper theater which was to far from walking distance. I thought driving through the city can be terrifying with motorbikes pulling out at will careless of wherever you were driving as the cutoff rate increases in Asia especially with the plentiful presence of motorbikes driven by careless, unqualified drivers. Now imagine all this while riding on the bike without any control. I just had to get into the zone and be in my own bubble devoid of the world around me. If I die, I would rather not see it coming. The cinema is in a huge mall complex mostly all of which is underground including a water park, ice rink, arcade, and enough shops selling things I didn’t realize people here could afford but it shows how great a divide exists between the rich and the middle and obviously the lower classes. As an inside joke humorous moment, I picked two of the many heart labeled seats on the screen for our seat selection since I figured those were the favorite seats in the theater. Not until we got to sit down did I put two and two together and realize the hearts meant couple seats with the two of ours joined. For $3 I was able to watch a movie in a Western style theater in a prime time slot. With a salary the same as any teacher in the U.S., no wonder the English language teachers are comparably rich and save so much money. Back at the hostel, I could sleep knowing in a bittersweet way that tomorrow would be my last in this country that I have spent seven weeks traveling through.
Riding Vietnam Day 196: Hibernating Like a Boss