You could really live like a king in these countries. It’s a temporary skewed thought, relative to perspective (and space). I hear the average income over here is about 100-200$. Although it is run by a Communist government, Capitalism is on the rise and there seems like much room for growth.. more than Cambodia and Burma at least.
Today Gerry the promoter invited us for a motorbike ride up the coast for seafood. Chad rented one, and I hopped on with Gerry because I am absolutely mortified of driving here. There is no rules for the road. Dividing lines do not matter, people will drive over sidewalks to get in faster. It’s as if the roads are lined as a grapevine. People drive ruthlessly not giving any concern of pedestrians. And that’s the crappy thing is that I don’t think they have life insurance here, so if you’re hit as a foreigner, your loss.
So at noon we met in front of Guava club and took a 30 minute journey up the coast. What a beautiful scenery! Such a liberating feeling when you are riding a bike. I’ve always had thoughts that crossed my mind about getting one back home, but I know I’ll never do it. Closest to it maybe being a scooter around town. That couldn’t hurt! The weather’s been perfect since we got to the beach, everything has run so smoothly. We’ve already created an inner circle of friends we see out every night and are friends with the owners.
Today was just as perfect of a day as yesterday. So we got to another beach called Long Beach, less polluted with tourists and went to a seafood restaurant Gerry goes to a lot, open air beach front, market style. There we met up with the manager of Sailing club, an Aussie we’ve seen out every night and a few new faces. There you choose the seafood you want from various tubs: squid, shrimp, clams, larger clams that the funny foul Aussie called ‘cock & balls’ cuz of the shape, fish and crab. We got a kilogram of everything. It was an amazingly huge seafood feast and I must have eaten pounds of it. We dipped the seafood in white pepper & fresh squeeze lemon. Soooooo good!! And the total came out to about 10$/person!
We hung out there on the beach til around 5 pm, sharing laughter and more insightful conversations. Everyday here, day and night I’m meeting awesome individuals with many stories to tell. Gerry mentioned a conversation he had about what everyone’s dream could be if they had 3. And one of them would most likely be to know every language in the world! Good point. Then the Aussie said, “My wish would be to sleep with a girl from every country of the world.” Why do I find that funny? I don’t know, but it was a good laugh.
He is a Vietnamese 25 year old born and raised in Canada. He came to Vietnam about 9 months ago as a short vacation, and worked a little in promoting fliers for clubs and restaurant owners he’d become friends with. Then he had the idea of starting his own nightlife tour promoting company. What a hit! For such a young age, he truly is extremely street smart and very entrepenuerial. I love talking to people like that, I do believe in energy. And when you surround yourself with like-minded individuals, or people you look up to, you will prosper from their insight.
So his business he runs himself, where he organizes pub crawls 4 nights a week, called “Nammers”. He’ll meet people on the beach or just out and charge them 100 dong (5$) to take them to the hot spots. So every night they meet at Rainbow bar at 8, then Guava at 9, then to Sailing Club at 10. It’s a smart concept and good deal because you get a free shot at each place, and free entrance to Sailing club. He’s extremely well connected with all the expats here who are in the club business and a fun guy to be around. And his business is only growing. He’s going to organize tour busses from Nha Trang beach to the beach we were at today, similarly getting seafood on the beach, etc.
I can see why now so many people have come and decided to stay. It’s not difficult making some money and living well. Although I could never do it because I love the city back home, and I’d be a fat drunk if I were here working.
When the sun started to set, we hopped on our bikes and road back home. My ipod on the way there randomly played Bone thugs & harmony “crossroads” which was appropriate, riding a motorcycle in the mean streets of Vietnam. On the way back I played techno music. It really was an amazing feeling riding along the beautiful beaches!!
Then Gerry took me to a nice hotel spa, and we paid 10$. They had a series of things to do before the massage: sauna, steam room, soak in a rose petal barrel for a few minutes, tub with crazy jets, then a big pool, and lastly a hot jacuzzi and then a shower. Then a massage. The massage wasn’t the best I got because my lady was not smooth and a bit all over the place. She was also kind of annoying so that wasn’t too relaxing for me. Every time I told her to go softer or flinch because of a weird move she’d do, she’d start giggling uncontrollably.
It’s 10 pm now. Off to the pub crawls! Guava bar first!