Vietnam — happy to be settling in for an entire month in one place. Plenty o’ time
to relax and to take it all in.
Vietnam is very different from everything I’ve seen so far.
There’s a lot of greenery around, even in the city there’s small jungle-like areas. And I love palm trees, and since there’s plenty of them here, I already like Vietnam.
The weather is warm, and I finally understand all the humidity talk I was reading about. It just feels much hotter than it actually is. If you leave the window open during the day, it sometimes feels like taking a hot shower in a ventless bathroom. The air conditioning and its dehumidification function can make you forget about all that though.
A local said to me “winter is coming, it’s getting colder already”, but I haven’t had such a lovely summer in quite some time.
Looks like everybody rides a bike here.
The traffic here is… holy shit! On a single street lane you have tons of motorbikes and bicycles; then there’s small cars, trucks, people pushing or pulling carts, and pedestrians, either randomly crossing the streets (due to lack of semaphorized crossings), or having to walk on the street amidst heavy traffic, due to lack of (useable) sidewalks.
That’s because sidewalks are mostly inexistent here. And if there is a sidewalk, it’s most likely unusable for a number of reasons:
- It’s used as a parking space, filled with dozens and dozens of motorbikes;
- It’s all occupied by street vendors;
- Ad-hoc barbershops;
- Small terraces with tables and chairs;
- Piles of random stuff.
And they honk at each other continuously in the most nonchalant way. At first I thought that they’re all road raging or something, but they’re pretty relaxed about all the honking.
People are quiet polite and helpful here as well. However, a couple of mean girls seemed to have had a problem with my beard and asked me to shave — turns out they aren’t “used with them” here. Of course, I vehemently refused such a devilish thing, had them removed from my life, and deleted them from my contacts.
I’ll be living for a month in a residential building. The one-room apartment located at third floor is quite spacious, it has a small kitchenette, a not so comfortable desk, a loud fridge, a bathroom, and a lizard pet.
The price for an entire month was one of the lowest I could find over the internet, 400 USD (359 EUR = 1600 LEI), but after arriving here I’m 100% sure I could’ve found an even cheaper apartment if I asked around.
I’m happy about the choice anyway, especially because of the friendly owner and the maid helping out weekly. And because of the lizard, of course.
Since my arrival, I’ve been working almost non-stop, so I haven’t had much time for anything else. I haven’t visited anything yet, except the supermarket and a coffee shop, where, by the way, I drank the best coffee I ever had: “Vietnamese Coffee” for 0.87 USD (0.78 EUR = 3.5 LEI).
Anyway, I’m looking forward to visit Cat Ba Island, Ha Long Bay and