Da Nang, Vietnam
Notice train quite empty again, not like the last trip, to Da Nang. Only after some moments does it occur to me that today is a Monday, and the busier journey was on a Saturday.
The journey is uneventful for five hours, my only excitement fighting to the door through the small crowd alighting at a station so as to get the food that has been offered via the window. The food service comes through the train just a little later, and I have some of that, too. Worries about running out of energy allayed, I settle into my book until, near the end, something skitters over my elbow and down under the seat.
I still don’t know what, but it was fairly large. Lizards skitter, I suppose, and that seems okay.
An hour or so later, they were back, scurrying from under my seat, right at the end of one carriage, forward and backward, then across the carriage. In the dark, they looked like spiders, but as they gambolled across the aisle, their lizard nature was clear. Three of them, I counted, and no one seemed remotely concerned so I calmed down.
They carried on scuttling for the rest of the journey. I tried not to notice them but failed. Not quite so cool as I wanted to be.
We arrived on time or near as dammit, around 9.15. An easy walk to the hostel, paying attention to building numbers this time so I didn’t go far the wrong way once I found the right street. There’s always something to fool me, though-in Da Nang there were long stretches without buildings, only construction sites, which fooled me into thinking it might not be far from no. 3xx to 169. But those clear areas weren’t accounted for in the numbers. Here, I’d got the idea that each shop front went down in twos, got to 46 looking for 50, then walked and walked (well, a bit). Nope, not so simple – at this point letters came into play and I had to get past 48a, b…e. Found it.
Time for a wander down by the beach, marvelling first at some backpackers’ lack of manners, made worse by the extreme politeness and helpfulness of the staff, before a late bed.