I am nearing my first VISA run – you need to leave the country every three months. I know many expats find this tiresome, I actually love the opportunity to plan my “where to next” – and for me this November I have narrowed it down to Cambodia (obvious choice) but I did not get to spend a lot of time when last there in 2017. The other has been on my bucket list for years, Kota Kinabalu. So I am researching in earnest. Map below will provide some geographical context. There is a mountain walk there I’d like to do – I’ll investigate the relative safety of that before I decide.
Next week I travel to Danang – I opted for the overnight train to save some dollars. Surprised to find that flying both ways was in fact only $10AUD more than taking the train. I will fly up and train back during the day and use a four berth sleeper. It’s a great way to see the country side and let’s face who doesn’t like a clickity clack.
I also opted for the top level thinking the view of the country would be better. As with everything here, this could be the worst mistake of my life, you share a 4 berth with strangers and hope like hell your snoring or theirs doesn’t keep everyone awake! Still having done a similar trip to Sapa I now know to take my own esky with beer and snacks. see Meeting the Queen & Vespa Riding Dogs The plan is to also go to Ba Na Hills and do the cable car and most importantly Golden Bridge (opened in June)
The past few weeks I have discovered Farmers Union yoghurt, which did more for my homesickness than my throat. Moved to another flat, helped a friend relocate to another country and have continued to search for some work. As time goes by I think the need to start an online business / income is fast approaching. I like this digital nomad life and although I missing a cup of tea ( Australian style) I dropped by the InterContinental Hotel yesterday for breakfast. I needed an Earl Grey.
Why? as you walk the streets here, the locals start to accept you are not a “tourist” but someone who is living here (albeit short or long time) and the conversation subtly shifts to but “Why?” – Madam you want massage ? no, thank you …But Why? the responses can be long or short or non existent. Like the cyclo driver who pulled up next to me outside the statue of Ho Chi Minh – his English was good, good enough to have a five-minute conversation. The usual – “where you from?”” what do you do?” followed by “why you not want me to take you to your flat?”… anyway you get the picture. Some days I just get home and collapse it’s exhausting. Wit, humour and knowledge does not necessarily equate in another language. This changes your mindset too I have noticed, you start to think differentlly as a result, refuge to be found with other expats, even a brief encounter with an Aussie at the ATM. I am already helping new comers.