A middle aged man carrying a baby wrapped in an ocean blue scarf on his stomach, while jerking on the rope in his right hand holding a small black goat. A tiny kid curious but alerted, on the doorstep of his wooden house, the sound of our motorbikes passing. An old grey man on a bycicle snapping a gigantic pair of rusted metal scissors repedeatly.
A bowl of fishsoup in a shabby restaurant with broken red plastic chairs, soup so disgusting that we only ate the shrimps and noodles. Men coming to our tables asking where we come from in broken english, then asking us if we are married. Restaurants where you have to fish your fish out of a bowl.
Rain so thick and heavy you could see it, smell it and feel it in the air from miles ahead, awaiting to drive into her grey arms. Rain so thick we could only see 1 and a half meters ahead on the small ‘paved’ road through the jungle, best known by the name of Ho Chi Minh Trail. Trucks overpassing other trucks on that small paved road. Paved road turning into sand and stones while you just got to gear 4 for a downhill, causing you to almost slip right into the ricefield on your left.
A boy smacking his dead chicken back into the front basket of his paddlebike. A fat bee stuck in the holes of my saddle, upside down, stinging me in my left thigh.
Warm beer with ice. A bag of food including what we thought was a napkin, turning out to be a rice paper for spring rolls. A child pushed forward by his excited mom to go up to us and practice his school taught English. A captain America action figure left behind on a stone bench.
A scary new sound possibly coming from the engine. An old sales lady also hiding for the rain in the only ‘cafe’ on this jungle road, speaking Vietnamese to us louder and louder hoping we would somehow understand what she said if she’d scream. Showing the Netherlands on google maps to the heavily nodding sales lady and the café owner, who then exclaim in all their enthousiasm: ‘Yes, yes, America!’.
A fish jumping out of one of the numerous dirty grey bowls, crawling over his own kind and jumping onto the market road, trying to escape his inevitable fate. A young ox outrunning his mother and his owner, skipping and swaying its tail happily in the last drops of rain.
Plankton lighting up around my hands while I slowly swim through the dark ocean. A hot shower in a sketchy hotel somewhere mid-Vietnam. Walking on the ridges of the endless ricefields of Sapa. A tiny gecko running on the white-turned-yellow walls. Sand in my eyebrows.
A pregnant lady convincing Maria to buy a necklace of her Vietnamese ‘birth animal’ (a cat). A skinny man with legs like twigs and without muscles on the street, passed by by bypassers, like me. A cute labrador look-a-like puppy with legs like twigs and without muscles, enjoying the attention we give him. A man at the street food stall we are resting offering me a cigarette. The man then offering me incredibly strong black tea that apparently goes with cigarettes, because Maria wasnt offered any tea.
The sound of waves clashing into a men made beach. A voice through public speakers asking people not to leave trash in the sea and the sand, and also ‘not take your dog in sea with you. Use toilet properly. Not have a dinner party on beach. Thank you for attention’.