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Where to?

by Going Slowly

It's another grey day; rain pelts at the windows, and outside on our little balcony, all of the gritty, dirty clothes we hung out to dry are no doubt soaked through. Neither of us can be bothered to look, much less deal with them. We're staying indoors today, curled up in bed, journaling and programming.

When we do leave our room, it is only to run through the narrow alleyway next to our hotel, into a little bakery we found last night. Inside the sweet-smelling shop, we order pastries and drinks, and chat about what we want to do next. In the background, a Celine Dion album is playing on repeat, just like last night.

We were going to spend a few days here exploring, just as we did in Hội An. But, we can tell already that we aren't moved by this large, hectic, and notoriously rainy city. So, we decide that just one day of sightseeing will do. With that matter sorted, a new question arises: what shall we do instead?

We have about ten days left on our visas, and the Vietnamese New Year's of Tết is rapidly approaching—whereupon all government facilities will be more or less closed for two weeks. Apparently we have too much time on our visa to request another extension, but our hotel says if we stay five more days here, they think they could sneak in it for us before Tết.

We're not sure what to make of all this, but we do know that if there was ever a place that is already overwhelming and in-your-face without the added hoopla of festivals, Vietnam would be it. We've heard the North is lovely, though, and we want to give it a fair shot.

The truth is, we don't know what we want to do, or if we do, it's buried somewhere in the recesses of our psyches. Normally, we're not so indecisive, but at the moment, all we want to do is get back under warm, dry covers and put off making the decision as long as possible. We'll probably sit with it until the very last minute, until we're forced to mobilize and the choice will be made for us.

Vietnamese Bonsai on a Bicycle