Out til about 230am I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to wake up at 530 to catch the sunrise everybody says you need to catch. When my alarm went off I just unzipped my tent and snap a few garbage photos. I saw a guy try real hard trying to do a handstand and it made me think back to the summer when all I try to do was handstands…so I unzipped my tent, threw my flip flops on and went outside to take more pictures.
This is where I met Carlos, and you can see his story on my Instagram page @mke88. Let me tell you, as he explained the story to me I could really feel the emotion he displayed, if that makes sense. He showed me his hands, still marked up with scabs and calluses from holding onto the rock; “it felt like my entire life but it was probably only 5-10 minutes” he recalls as I asked him how long he was stranded for. It was quite moving when he explained now how proud he is to be alive, and his view in life. “I always call my mom and tell her everything when I’m travelling but I still can’t tell her that story, not while I’m still gone”. Afterwards Carlos and I actually went jogging down the beach and did some push ups! Felt nice to get some physical activity in but I was definitely hurting hah.When I got back from running I went in for a shower. I’ll save my story about using the bum-gun (water hose to wash your butthole rather than wiping with TP) for another post but the saying of travelling to “get out of your comfort zone” was definitely realized today, if not already!
I went to the main area to grab breakfast and went with banh mi with egg. The place here is quite westernized so they don’t sell viet type food you’d see in the streets of Saigon but regardless it’s alright. The resort is 20 mins away from the main strip of Mui Ne so to get food anywhere else you need to go into town. As such, prices are a little higher too. But in saying that, it’s still only like 4 dollars Canadian. It’s more of a principal thing now and it’s kind of funny how me and lots of other travellers feel this way…”omg! They charge 30,000 VND for Saigon green (cheap beer) here” is commonly heard. In Saigon we could get them for like 15,000 and remember, $1USD is 23000 VND. I want to say first world problems but I’m in Vietnam so would it be THIRD world problems?! Hmmm I’ll go and think about this one…
While eating I met this tall blonde named Laura. She walks with a limp which I immediately attributed to R-rated activities (I’m kidding, Laura!) This lanky 24 year old vegan and runner from Belgium has been travelling for the past 3 months around Southeast Asia. She once slept 10 nights in the same room never once leaving. Why? On the 9th of January, while riding her motorcycle with her boyfriend down the highway of Laos she lost control of her bike and fell, striking her knee on a piece of rock. Her patella tendon (or at least I think it’s that muscle) completely wrecked, saying “I saw my muscle and blood was everywhere. I was by myself and 1 hour away from town so I took my poncho, wrapped it around my knee and drove off. It was so bloody because it was my leg I used to change gears so every time I shifted blood would come out more and more. It didn’t hurt though!…. until I got the hospital. I considered going back to Belgium to be with my family but I told myself ‘no, no. I must continue’. I’m glad I didn’t go home cause now I know I’m a much stronger person. My boyfriend broke up with me during my hospital stay so it was a bad time for me. My family will meet me in Cambodia next week though so I’m so excited!”
I later asked how much it cost and she very happily responded “so cheap! 23 euros 😃”
Later on in the day I went down on the beach and laid down to tan, as I need one but it seems like a vacation thing to do. With the help of Johanna, we took pictures for each other around the resort.
Meet Johanna: An 18 year old German girl currently travelling Southeast Asia ever since finishing high school last summer. She started off in Cambodia and ended up working there for 3 months. She has been in Vietnam since.
On the beach I saw two guys lounging around on a beanbag type mattress on the sand just boozing away straight rum from a bottle. I went and said hello and where I was from.
“You from Canada? So what do you think of your new president? (Smirks) that’s my starting line to a Canadian”. Meet Dexter and Frank. These two blokes from Holland are quite a comedy. Dexter has severely bruised ribs and his left side is quite marked up with scabs. How’d it happen? Motorcycle flipped on him on the drive down. These two voiced their opinion on various topics such as marijuana potency in Holland vs Asia, why people get all fired up about the Super Bowl – saying “you guys get what, 300 million viewers? That’s pathetic, on your average premier league game it’s like 600 million”, – hockey, and various others.
After the beach I had to just unwind and I actually spent a lot of time catching up on this blog, so I lounged around on the sofa typing everything out. By 5pm I thought it was time to start the drinking with some mates I’ve met yesterday and today. There was a pub quiz event where teams are randomly put together forcing you to meet even more people which is nice. Our team didn’t finish last so that’s good. I proved my worthiness to my squad by providing the answer to “what is the capital of Canada?” And what does “IPA” stand for when you drink a beer”.
Later that night I spoke to a Swiss man named Bastien who works at the hostel here. I tell everybody who asks that I’m from Vancouver because I’ve realized I always end up referring to it as nobody knows Edmonton. So when I told him he quickly responded with “Vancouver is my next stop actually! I want to go to Canada so bad. I want to work in Vancouver island…I hear the marijuana so good there”. When I asked to take a picture of him he gladly says yes. But the best moment was when I pulled Sheldon out. “I seen this one before…on the Internet. He has like a comic book drawing right?” And I couldn’t believe it!! I responded “tinysheldon on Instagram?” To which he said “yes yes! Oh my gosh…I love him! I knew he looked familiar”. On Instagram, the account tinysheldon is the account of the actual owner of the Sheldon I’m currently travelling with (I believe…)
“I told him to not do that in front of the kids, and he said ‘this happens every month! It’s not your business. She deserves it'” and followed that by telling the girls that they have 1 hour to leave and never come back.
These two girls had become very close to the kids that ranged from 3 – 12 years old, many of whom had ADHD. So what happened?
The owner of this English teaching school had gotten into a heated argument with his wife. They are unsure if he had struck her, but recalled that they saw the wife leave the classroom crying. The couple had fought in front of the kids many times before and it happened again. Unwilling to accept this behaviour, Leonie and Carolin asked their boss to stop. The end result being them getting kicked out of their free accommodations and teaching contract. They just told me though that since they have left, the school has been shut down. And made sure to point out that he was a Canadian (a rebuttal to my statement that we are the best people).
That’s a wrap in Mui Ne. It’s been a good time here and despite the relatively high prices of food, I very much enjoyed my stay here. For two nights and 3 days, I spent 1.5 million dong (that includes accommodations). It works out to be roughly $30 bucks a day, so somewhat on the higher side in terms of a budget travel but I did drink like a degenerate both nights…-and ate food all the time. I didn’t take any food pics here because it wasn’t very authentic Vietnamese cuisine. I hope to have some food posts here moving forward! Below are random shots of my time in Mui Ne.