who ... moi?

a social butterfly: scared of much, but not of many. never lets the truth get in the way of a good story. not a fan of acronyms, snakes and angelina jolie. a HUGE fan of Fathead.

this blog is black for ENERGY-SAVING reasons.

thanks for your understanding.
if it's too dark, put your glasses on old one.

Monday, August 16, 2010

hoa's place

our journey down the coast of 'nam continued towards the fourth largest city, danang. as the bus drove through we were astounded by the amount of developments being constructed along the coastline of china beach.

it seemed that everyone from greg norman to donald-fake-do-trump had jumped on the "let's-build-a-resort" bandwagon.

heaven alone knows where all the people, required to fill the endless strip, are going to come from.

the beach is now almost completely colonized by glitzy hotels and overly luxurious seaview villas - each more glamourous and grotesque than the next. my guess is danang's vision for the future is: be the next phuket.

this place was not for us.

okay - so change of plans:
give this tourist trap a wide birth, stay on the bus and get them to drop us off further down the road, somewhere beyond the theme park accommodation ... preferably in the middle of nowhere.

so with bribe money in hand, Fathead went to have a little chat with the driver.

the bus headed on to the middle of nowhere, as requested, and at the foot of marble mountain along a dusty highway, left us standing looking at each other with "now what?" expressions.

we'd read about a place not far from this point of desertion, where a man named hoa ran a backpackers on the beach. it was reportedly rustic but homely, with double rooms for $9 a night. with very little clue as to where we actually were we managed to hail a taxi and request he take us there.  bemused, he politely refused - shaking his head and pointing to a small dirt road on the other side of the highway.

so with backpacks strapped to our bodies we wondered down the path. nothing but a local sleeping in a hammock and a few chickens awaited us.

but then, as we neared a dead end with china beach ahead of us, hoa's place came into view.

on the ground floor an open air bar with one large dining table and a few fridges - promising a refreshing beer -greeted us.  that and a chatty group of tanned and chilled out travelers who were gathered around the table, awaiting their lunch which was being barbequed under a palm tree outside.

hoa refused to let us check in, "take it easy man" as he thrust ice cold larue beers into our sweaty hands. the afternoon continued in this manner, with each of our requests to check in being answered with another beer.

we soon learned that hoa's world moves to a different rhythm: this man had been on holiday since 1994. our fellow travelers had already adjusted their internal clocks to hoa-time, and a few beers later, so did we.

everyone staying there looked really happy, bronzed with a glow that said "i'm on holiday".  we spent the rest of the afternoon hearing how wonderfully empty the beach was, how clear the waters were, how white the sand was.

after our barbecue lunch we sat with hoa, listening to stories of travelers gone by and how he left the real world over a decade ago to start his humble half-way-house on this secluded piece of paradise.

tipsy and overcome by the warmth of his hospitality, Fathead and i exchanged a glance and i knew we weren't leaving this place anytime soon.

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