We arrived in early in Hue, 6:30 in the morning actually. The night bus ride was not too shabby, I was able to sleep most of the time even being close to the toilet.
Viet, the owner of Hue Happy Homestay made me felt very welcome. Despite being very early in the morning, I was able to check-in already. I even booked a daily tour to discover the city. At the breakfast table, I also had some wonderful conversation with a German guy who wanted to travel in Southeast Asia, but after his stop in Taiwan, he liked it so much that he decided to rent an apartment and stayed there for a few months. Reason being, that Taipeh is not that touristic. People are not changing their lives because of tourism. (I believe in modern developed cities, this would always be the case?) He is now travelling for the rest of the time he still has, 2 months I believe.
The city trip is just the usual one that people from different hotels, hostels get pulled together to form a group. We have 2 older couples, american and dutch, a mid-aged Austrian guy, an old bold round guy to whom I didn’t talk to (Also he didn’t bother to join us at any activities), 2 vietnamese girls, one mid-aged Vietnamese from Australia with her daughter (I assumed, and she looked a bit Korean and only bothered to take selfies everywhere), and another German PhD student who was forgotten to be picked up and was “allowed” to take the tour with us. (there are others, but I didn’t really remember them)
During different spots, we get to know each other a little bit better. The Austrian guy came from Myanmar, so he gave me some very brief tips while walking to the Citadel. We talked a bit with the older couples at the tea house after the Citadel. After one of the tombs, I got to know one Vietnamese girl a bit better, whose name is Phuong. The Vietnamese from Australia told me about his background for coming back to see the country. Me, not knowing too much about the war time back then, was not able to find out more. (Now after the Ho Chi Minh war museum, I have more questions that I wanted to ask)
At the end of trip, Phuong took me to the market on the other side of the river. She “escaped” from Hanoi from her previous job and the pressure from the family. She is not able to pursue her goals to get advanced in the career for communication and events in her company before. Of course, family pressures are on other matters, too. You can guess once what is. Her English was not too bad at all since she occasionally translated for some E-sport events (FIFA3, it’s a thing in Vietnam). Now 10 days later, I can’t really remember what we talked about, but the conversation was quite easy going (that’s why I am catching up with the posts). One thing I do remember was that she initially made a joke about how some trees don’t grow flowers. I was like “Really?”. That was her being funny. I felt like in the recent months, I have lost my sense of humor a bit. I take things too seriously. Maybe it was after the development forum, where the one instructor said that if I would joke too much, people wouldn’t take me seriously any more. Now I figured, I am too much on the other extreme … due to whatever reasons.
In the evening, I met a German / Ghana guy Lukas and an ABC girl Andrea. We went to some Indian restraurant and ended up chatting a bit about music. Lukas has his ukulele with him and will be changing his studies to music production. Hope to hear some things from him soon. And the nicest thing was that, before his departure, he left a note in my bag wishing me good travels. Obviously, such small things are romantic (no homo) and these small surprises are things you could do for your loved ones too. (I read this somewhere else as well)
The abandoned water park is a highlight. Just 40 minutes bike ride from Hue, you can find a complete water park in ruins. Windows shattered, greens outgrow the original facility. Butterflies add an additional flavor to the mysterious scenery.
The last night, I also got to know Gijs, Rafael and a Swedish guy with an English girl. Gijs worked in a brewery before and is now riding with his Honda Wing through Vietnam. He has been on the road for a while now and is very enthusiastic about this Honda Wing. He also had his guitar with him and would play it if the mood is right (when there is no conversation going on, according to him, which is actually the right way). He is super helpful and very welcoming in his way of conversations. Rafael, a 20 year old German kindergarten employee is travelling because his boss told him to do so. (What a nice boss, she even gave him a backpack as a present) He seemed shy in the beginning but I assume he will open himself more after one or two days. Because on the way back, he met a Canadian girl they met in Sapa and you can see from his smile that he is way more comfortable with people that he is more familiar with. The Swedish guy with the English girl are more down to party so we didn’t end up talking much.
Me, after a heavy day in Phnom Penh with genocide museum and killing fields, realizing that I need to really catch up with the posts, because there are details that I am slowly forgetting.