We set off on our journey early. This place never sleeps and at 6.30 people are buzzing around as normal-time never playing it's part. It feels like the people here are built to work constantly yet they always find time to smile and just get on with it.
The train was from the 70's yet comfortable and oh bliss of blisses had aircon. I am struggling to sleep without it at the mo, so any time it's there I lap it up! Ciarna has a magnetic field around her when it comes to the people. The fact that she has some vietnamese is a bonus. We saunter up to the dining carriage, where you can smoke (hard to get used to people puffing away on a train) drink coffee and have the craic with the staff. My red hair and pale skin is always a bit of a mystery to them and often I would just be spacing out and the next thing I look around and I have about 5 pairs of eyes looking my way! It's a weird one. They all ask do I have a husband, which is funny too. Last night on our way back, I encountered a not so nice element to that and one of the staff, a sleazy oul fella who was drunk, wanted some special time with me. Exit stage right. But I think even those kind of encounters are rare.
The train journey took about 5 hours to Mui Ne but felt shorter. The scenery along the way was more interesting than pretty-just the small ramshacked houses, the buddhist graves (i had to get the swastica looking emblem explained to me-apparently it's in the opposite direction and is buddhist symbol for life), the people working the land were all fascinating to me. We arrived to literally a throng of taxi guys, some gently touching my arm-was a little intense to say the least. The heat from the sun was also intense but unlike Saigon, the air was clear and no smog. Saigon is the most polluted city I have ever been to. It's sad that the canal river is so polluted that every time I pass it, I feel like retching the stench is that bad. I guess, it's a lack of education but everywhere you go there is rubbish strewn-seems to be no system in place to counteract this. Anyway, it's all par for the course here and taking a leaf out of the people's book-I will just get on with it and keep smiling!
Mui Ne was very chilled-we just soaked it up, ate amazing food, drank for Ireland and hung out-it's the best place to just be in the moment. Feel so relaxed and happy-the first time in a long time. Long may it last.