1/12/10: Hoi An, Vietnam
Last night we took the overnight bus from Nha Trang to Hoi An. Ugh. Just typing the words “overnight bus” makes me shudder a little. I’m still feeling some trauma left over from our last “overnight” bus that dropped us off at two in the morning. But this time I shouldn’t have worried. We booked with the very reputable Sinh Tourist (formerly Sinh Cafe), and our bus ride was really as smooth and comfortable as one could reasonably expect. Bonus over Thai buses: no awkwardly confusing midnight dinner stop.
We arrived at the Sinh Tourist office in Hoi An, got our bags and sat down inside to wait for someone to come pick us up from our hotel. Because we are old and decrepit and lack a sense of adventure, we always book ahead. It was at this point that I noticed every other couple/group/family had pulled out a guidebook, and they all were looking through it for places to stay.
I know that the point of a guidebook is to – well – guide, but I had never really thought about using one to find a place to stay. I’m not sure why this never occurred to me, maybe because we don’t have any paper guidebooks, maybe because LP has consistently failed us a few times in the past and given us incorrect information, or maybe because we’re not young and hip but old and decrepit and lack a sense of adventure. Whatever the reason, looking at all of those people with their guidebooks out made me feel a bit – well, unadventurous. I know that there’s no right way to travel, although there are plenty of people who believe otherwise and will adamantly (and loudly) tell you so. I think that Kevin and I do a good job of seeing what we want to see, not pushing ourselves to do things when we’re feeling sightseeing-ed out and making sure that above all, we enjoy ourselves. But sometimes I wonder if we should sometimes do things a bit differently – if that would make things more fun, or if not more fun, at least more spontaneous.
But then I remembered that I am a much nicer and happier person when I’m not constantly worrying about what’s going to happen next, which is a practically uncontrollable reflex when I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Example: the other day Kevin was watching Disturbia on TV, and I can’t watch scary movies, because of the whole worrying about what’s going to happen next thing. It really puts me on edge. Also because I am very susceptible to that clever tiptoe-the-murderer’s-around-the-corner-scary-movie music. So instead of hiding under the covers for the next hour while Kevin finished watching the movie, I looked up the synopsis for Disturbia on wikipedia and calmly watched the movie with him. Yes I know it’s crazy, but it’s just how I am. That was a very long tangent, but the point is, I like knowing what’s going to happen.
Anyway, not to be too smug (ok, maybe I was feeling a teeny bit smug), but while the rest of our fellow travelers were sitting in the office paging through their guidebooks searching for a place to stay, a car had pulled up in front of the office and the driver had jumped out, holding up a sign that said, “WELCOME MISS ZHOU!” And that made me very, very happy.
Picture of the Day: The (sort of famous) Japanese covered bridge in Hoi An. We didn’t go inside, but look, here’s a picture of it!