Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 23 - Nha Trang Hot Springs

Spent the last day in Nha Trang relaxing for the most part. We stopped by the Long Son Pagoda to see a 46 ft tall Buddha statue, which could be seen from Quang's house. After that, we headed to the Thap Ba Hot Springs to soak in the mud and swim in the mineral water pools. It was a pretty lengthy process where we rinsed in warm mineral water, soaked in a tub of mud, dried in the sun, washed the mud off, soaked in a tub of mineral water, and then swam in the pool.

We had another English lesson today when Quang started talking about his company Pepsico and their biggest competitor, Coke. He wanted to know the correct pronunciation of "Coke" vs. "Cook" vs. "Cock." I tried to throw in "Kook" but he didn't want to get confused trying to learn slang.

Somewhere in all these English lessons I also taught him the saying "Ignorance Is Bliss" after he decided to tell me some of the horror stories about Vietnam, like people refilling bottles of water and reselling them, even though it is plastic-sealed around the cap. There was also a huge accident on the boat river cruise my family and I had dinner on in HCMC where most of the people died after the ship capsized... And last, they was also a huge accident on a ship to Halong Bay where the ship sunk at night when everyone was sleeping. I plan on heading to Halong Bay after I reach Hanoi... which is the reason why I taught him "Ignorance is Bliss..."

Quang also told me that one of the hardest things about English in U.S. was the naming of Foods. He worked at a baseball stadium when he was in the U.S. and had a hard time when people asked him for "Nachos" or "Snow Cones" or "Ice Cream Floats". If the names of these items were more literal, he'd have an easier time.

We spend the remainder of the day at his house, and took up the opportunity to get some more nem cuon and nem neong for dinner. Quang convinced me to take the sleeping bus again, since this time around, I was able to choose a seat near the front of the bus, so I was guaranteed not to have to sleep in between two stinky guys again. He dropped me off at the bus station at night, and the ride to my next destination - Hoi An, would take another 10 hours... I hope to meet up with Quang again in the future. Maybe in the States?

Long Son Pagoda - Reclining Buddha

Long Son Pagoda

Nem Cuon and Nem Neong with Sugar Cane Juice

Sleeper bus on the way to Hoi An. The guy in the center has one of the worst spots to sleep in.

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