Mizzle is a term used in Devon and Cornwall for a combination of fine drenching drizzle…
…it is known for being capable of soaking you in a matter of minutes, and the feeling is best described as if one would stand under a Fire Brigade fine nozzle…
…a day with mizzle is usually characterised by dull and depressing weather and some sort of permanent twilight, or 'dimpsey' as another good old west country word puts it.Weather Online
It was gloomy afternoon of bicycle touring, a day of drudgery filled by the single task of laggardly pedaling from one place to the next. We were firmly drenched in a sickly mizzle from the moment we set foot outside, and as we took to the highway, the roads greeted us in typical Vietnamese fashion—with a dissonant and unyielding harmony of honks, all played in the worst imaginable key.
While this sounds awful, and truly, by all accounts the circumstances were, I found myself quite content with today's ride. In spite of the foul weather, and my persistent lack of interest in pedaling another kilometer, my mind was at ease, content to ignore the onslaught of annoyance around and within me.
The route we plied was so unremarkable, and the weather so bleak, that we were almost wholly uninterested in taking photos—a rare thing indeed. Save for one odd sight, neither of us could be urged to cease our stoic cycling for the entire day. The thing which called us to a halt was a pair of girls wrapped in flimsy cellophane-like pink and blue ponchos, standing on the roadside, selling what I can only guess were dead ducklings.
Arms outstretched, they absentmindedly dangled their freshly slaughtered fowl from the shoulder of the road on crooked fingers. The deceased hung limply in groups of seven or eight, suspended by thin strips of bamboo which had been driven through their tiny heads. One of the dead-baby-duck-hangers had a mini-poncho of its own, ostensibly to keep the goosebumped, scrotum-like bodies hanging from it dry.
The girls seemed thoroughly bored until I approached, soaking wet, camera in hand, to say hello. I tried to ask how much a duckling cost, but the impenetrable language barrier that is Vietnamese prevented any exchange of information. Even so, they held out their product with a pair of shy smiles, clearly amused by the fact that I was so interested their daily chore.
With the dead-duckling encounter behind us, we steadily pumped our legs for a few hours more, every breath visible as it condensed in the air before us. When at long last, we reached the bustling city of Huế, I was covered in dirt from drafting Tara, whose rear fender flap leaves a lot to be desired.
Looking like a pair of dirty drowned rats, we shuffled into a nearby hotel with our sand-covered sandals crunching on the floor. To our relief, the concierge paid no mind to our ragged state, and we were shown to a large, airy room at a great price. And thus, our ride was concluded.
After a pair of core-temperature-restoring showers, we headed to a quaint pastry shop next door to celebrate our arrival. Over apple muffins, pineapple cakes, and hot lemony limeny rum… we decided to spend a few days checking out the city.