Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hoi An

March 14 – Met CJ and Scott at Sunflower Hostel, walked around the market, checked in to our rooms, napped, and headed into town for the Full Moon Lantern Festival.  I thought I was going to be in awe of all the lanterns lighting up the town, but I was a little disappointed at how crowded yet unimpressive the town seemed.  Bought a candle and set it in the river, a tradition that’s supposed to grant good luck.

Hoian is one of those towns that I like to refer to as a “black hole”.   Almost a full week was dedicated to shopping, drinking, and eating the local favorite called cao lao.

March 19 – Moved to “home stay” for the night since Sunflower was booked, slept in, biked to beach with Sam and met Jake and Tim from Nha Trang.  

The bike ride and time at the beach made Sam and I really upset that we’d been spending our time for the last week in the worst ways.  To make it worse, I was reading Thoreau and his words are so incredibly powerful.  Fittingly, he discusses that you should not feel the need for new clothes until you can say you are a new person inside.  I feel really horrible about how materialistic this town has made me feel, but for the sake of record I’ll divulge my purchases: two tailored dresses, one kimono, two leather shoes, three lanterns, two sets of chopsticks, and one hand painted scroll.  I wasn't completely pleased with the clothing purchases, but the shoes are really amazing.  If I ever go back I'll have to stop back in to say hello to Hin at the shoe shop called "Be Be" (578 Cua Dai St).

The scroll I don't feel bad about at all - paid a man on the street 150,000 dong/$7 to hand paint bamboo and the phrase "nothing whatsoever should be grasped at or clung to" (one of my favorite lines from the meditation retreat on Koh Samui).

March 20 – Paid for and picked up all of our goods and headed out at 1pm for the overnight bus to Hanoi.  

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