Cat Tien, Vietnam and Misadventures on the Motorbike

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Yesterday was Independence Day for Vietnam! I thought things would be a little crazier, given the Vietnameses’ penchant for techno and flashy lights, but all in all the scene was pretty chill. The only thing that made it different from any other day was the fact that the school wasn’t open. Woot woot!

After spending the morning working on my law apps, I decided to take my motorbike on an adventure. I ended up in a little town 25km outside Quinhon, called Cat Tien (not to be confused with Cat Tien National Park).  The drive there was beautiful and flat. Full of sand dunes and breezes.

When I pulled into Cat Tien, the first thing I noticed was the abundance of cows, haystacks, and rice paddies. The light mountain air smelled pleasantly of smoke, manure, and saltwater. Narrow white roads wove in and out of a hodgepodge of concrete buildings. I noticed a sand parking lot full of motorbikes, so I decided to pull over and see what the fuss was about. I parked and was instantly swarmed by teems of teenagers wanting to get their picture taken. It was actually pretty cute.  Then, I  looked over the cliff to find a breathtaking view of a beach with white sand and blue water.  It was one of those moments where I felt so appreciative and happy to be in such a unique place so untainted by tourism and so, so far from my home.

 

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Unfortunately, I only got to spend a couple of hours in Cat Tien. It was getting dark. I hopped on my motorbike to head home. The roads were so narrow in the town! A car was coming straight at me. So I swered onto the sandy shoulder, only to have TWO MORE MOTORBIKES come straight at me. I swerved again and went KERSPLAT! The moto fell on top of me! It was painful and scary and I got a bunch of scrapes. It was a long 25km home.

 

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treacherous roads

 

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But I did see a shooting star on the way back.

This morning, my goddamn motorbike wouldn’t start! I don’t know if it was something I did to it or what. I wheeled it to a mechanic, and of course, that didn’t go over well. I didn’t know what he was saying (obviously haha), but it looked like he didn’t know what was wrong. I wheeled my motorbike back to the hotel (oh and by the way the air con in my room is leaking loudly everywhere and making everything wet, and the balcony door won’t stay shut so I had to jimmyrig it with my belt and hairband) and took a taxi to Cafe Cuoi, ordered a coffee, cried briefly, then began writing this blog post.


 

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