Sơn Trà, Vietnam
Run round (the outside of) the Forbidden City, few oldies out swinging arms and exercising, and one other Westerner jogging. Crossing roads easier on the run. Statues of ibexes (?) by the river. No propositions at 7 in the morning.
Train, long wait, mostly tourists on this one – finally tempted off the buses by the promise of beauty. Late running train caused some panic from old Englishman. All clutching their paper tickets, I seem the only one with electronic ones.
Interesting what people pick on to exemplify England. Manic depressives would be mine. Football is a popular go-to – so no more wisdom over the corruption that blights the Premier League here than at home. Last night’s students suggested London was a beautiful city, though that’s a standard go-to. And today, at the Italian/Vietnamese owned hostel Barney’s in Da Nang… One Direction. He likes their songs. Never mind culture clash, it’s age clash that hurts. Though nice to think I might in some way be able to join him in reflection upon their magnificence.
Afternoon – late eating, in the mall. A mall is a mall, but still, Da Nang has the feel of somewhere going up, even if in a soulless investment kind of way. Supermarket had two product placement ops, one for Haribo, with a very annoying song on repeat and a mascot, and one for Pepsi, seemingly there just to tidy up the shelves if anyone touched them. Upstairs, an ice rink. With western kids on, showing off while the Vietnamese majority skidded behind penguin props. Perhaps this is a favourite place of western youth, a skill they are more likely than the locals to have.
Evening in the hostel, and a run. Played with the owners’ kid, Cupin, which was nice if a bit long winded. Ducking out to leave him with grandma and me on my own at the other end of the bar was a relief.