9 Jul

Those of you reading Blake’s blog will be pretty up to date with our motorbiking… It’s been an incredible and hopefully authetic way to see Vietnam, and while we’ve stayed at a few interesting joints along the way (the hotel next door to the loudspeaker that broadcast news to the entire neighbourhood from 5 am, the one with the bikini girls printed onto tiles in the bathroom, the one of the beach where we had to bring the moto inside the room with us to prevent theft…), we’ve also found some absolute gems, especially along the coast.
We’ve had the pleasure of interacting with some genuinely kind and pleasent strangers, but also had to deal with innumerable uncomfortable stares, sleaze bag guys, conniving little old ladies, and a bunch of juninile deliquents that provoke violent tendancies in me…

You’re never far from industry or development in this country, and we also passed plenty of these scenes – totally ostentacious building, usually in the middle of nowhere, often houses so shiny and huge we mistake them for hotels. Historically, land in Vietnam is taxed on street frontage, resulting in the long, narrow constructions, but these things are ridiculous – another manifestation of the Vietnamese preoccupation with wealth and enterprise, and their obsession with saving face, looking good and being right no matter what the price, or the sense.

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