Monday, March 14, 2011

Let's Get Lost

Post breakfast and pre fitting at Yaly I borrowed one of the free bicycles offered at the hotel and went for a ride.  Without a map or plan I just pedaled, gravitating towards the authentic part of town, where the locals live, shop, eat, work and attend school.  Although not as quaint as the section devoted to tourists, I enjoyed the grittiness and morning activity.  I pedaled further trying to keep a sense of direction in my mind while leaving the hustle in my dusty wake.  The fewer motorcycles, the quieter my surroundings.  Gongs from a nearby temple, birds chirping.  I wondered why the cicadas, so lively in Cambodia, didn't inhabit the trees.  Rice fields, green expansive rice fields with miniature bodies in the distance, conical hats bowing to the plants.  A sleepy fishing village on the banks of the river.   Transactions at the market.  Fishy odor on the backroads along the water.  Old men paddling boats, women scrubbing clothes.  "Xin Choa" and smiles.  I felt lost, alive and happy riding my bike in the middle of Vietnam on a Monday morning without a care.  Later in the day I journeyed out again, this time pedaling to Cua Dai Beach.  I strolled the white sand, cooling my legs in the aqua waves.   I ate lunch, grilled crab and sauteed Chinese spinach, beachside, before making my way back into town for my second fitting.  I hired 55 year old Hi to take me on a late afternoon boat ride on the river.  I joined her in paddling the wooden vessel into the setting sun.  I can still here the lapping of the water against the oars.

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