Alright. Vietnam four days...and go.
I had taken all of Thursday to wander the city, I basically started with small squares around my hotel then expanded them. A geometric approach to exploring the city is essential. The energy and overall activity is so intense it is as if you jumped into a "Where's Waldo?" book. Crossing the street became my greatest challenge. I would describe it as trying to pick your way between two invading armies. I literally stood on one corner for over 10 minutes, trying to make myself man-up. The overwhelming anxiety induced by street crossing, provided me with my first competition for this county. The street soon became a bully on the playground...and I refused to eat his bugs. I forced myself to practice crossing by zig-zagging down the busiest intersection. I feel as if all this exercise did was expend my luck. It was after my third or fourth traumatizing zig-zag that I stood on the sidewalk, doubled over, thoroughly dejected with an apparent false sense of security. At that time, I was suddenly thown over by a motor bike who had jumped to the sidewalk to skip the street traffic. The fall was nothing fatal--obviously. But I now see the sidewalk as that croney who stands behind chearing for a bully who is beating a poor kid to a pulp. Then once the victim is broken and defensless the sidewalk comes in and gives the final blow to my ribs. I shall have vengeance. A large, 63 year old biker, who insisted I call him "Big Lez", saw the entire "episode" and bought me a drink. I needed it...almost as much as he needed a shower. He then went through the finer points of how to cross the street. Soon I shall put the bully in his plae.
Thurs. night I met up with my couch host. His name is Matt. He is awesome, quirky, brittish and has an amazing apartment. He is a life saver...he crosses the street with me.
Friday, was another day for exploration. This time I hired a guide (for less than 10 dollars) to take me on his motor bike around the city. New day: new traffic analogy. Matt described it best. While on the bike, in the traffic, it is as if you are a school of fish. No longer individual bikers with individual destinations...one school...one mind.
Matt is a great host and took me out that night. I feel this warrents more than a blib, but the worst/most interesting part of the night was the people watching. Namely, white elder males courting young Vietnamese women. There is a distinct difference between Vietnamese women who are out to enjoy themselves and those who are clearly trying to hook some western money. Along the same lines, there is a creepy quality to the old men who enter a bar, circle it once or twice, then leave, obviously only there for "business".
Saturday and Sunday have been more of the same with the added demension of trying to find a place to live for a month. We found one (we: a couple buddies of mine that will also take the CELTA course). So I am currently sitting in my new room procrastinating doing my CELTA homework. I have so much more to say. I also know I will have no time to say it until this CELTA course is over. I think this will be my last blog for a month, which is sad because I feel it is fragmented and does not paint the proper picture of my elation.
They also blocked facebook here. I feel like they just cut off my arm.