Sunday 11 June 2023

On the beach

My alarm goes off at eight. I don’t want a repeat of yesterday, when I missed out on breakfast by a few minutes.

I’m getting so good with my phone. I set the alarm myself. With almost no help from Mikey. That’s two or three things I can do on it unaided. I’m so proud of myself.

I'm downstairs breakfasting by 8:30. A bacon and egg baguette. Plus watermelon, orange juice and coffee. It's pretty good. I know you always appreciate pictures of my breakfasts. Only too happy to oblige.

Mikey has a curry. With bread. It’s a pretty small portion.

“I wish there was more.” He says, mournfully. Looking at his empty bowl, after quickly polishing off his food.

We head off to change money at the place I bought my sim yesterday. It's hot. Very hot. I'm sweating cobs by the time we get there. The walk back isn’t any less sweaty. But at least there’s aircon at the end of it.

I'm glad to get back to the cool of my room. Where I doze off watching some telly. Mikey is at the beach. Will I go and join him? Maybe.

Weirdly, there’s a block of allotments opposite the hotel. With developments sprouting all around it, like monstrous versions of the allotment vegetables. I can’t imagine it will remain gardens for long.

I lie around vaguely pointing my eyes at Ziggo TV on my flap flop. Until early afternoon, when I decide to join Mikey on the beach. 2 PM is the coolest part of the day, isn’t it?

The walk is a bit sweaty. Mikey is easy to spot. Especially as there are only about five people on the beach. And two of those are bar staff.

Once sat down, in the shade, it isn't too bad. There’s a bit of a breeze off the sea and I have a can of beer in my hand. Why? Because they don’t serve cocktails. Otherwise, it would be a mojito. Or, even better, a caipirinha.

The beach is wide and long. And full of lovely white sand.

“It’s almost as nice as Ipanema beach.” I remark.


“No caipirinhas here. I do appreciate the shade from those high rises, though.”

“How the fuck did they get permission to build 50-storey blocks so close to the beach?”

“Backhanders would be my guess.”

We're sitting next to two young English lasses who are on a 60-day trip The jammy gits. How can they afford to swan off for so long at their age? I was labouring down the pit sixteen hours a day when I was that old. At least I think that’s what I remember. It might have been a documentary I watched once.

Mikey creates a hotspot on his phone so they can piggyback on his internet. Or something. I don’t really understand it. Just that, somehow, he lets them share his data connection.

I have a couple of beers while Mikey roasts himself and occasionally dips in the sea. I’m not leaving the safety of the shade, me.

I manage to hold out for a full 90 minutes. I’m so proud of myself. Until Mikey gets hungry, when we head back to the hotel. Pausing only for a bánh mi on the way. 

Mine has some sort of pork in it. Along with cucumber and lettuce. Mikey skips the green element, going for 100% meat. It costs 30K (1.20 euros). The robbing bastards.

It’s not enough for Mikey. He stops at the next bánh mi stand. Where he gets a monster one. I haven’t even finished my first. Half way through, he seems to have regrets.

“I feel stuffed.” He says. “It was only 30K, though.”

I’m not surprised. Still considering the value, no matter how overfed he is. That’s Mikey for you. The normal-sized one was plenty for me.

Back in my room, I lie in the full blast of the aircon for a few hours. Finally, cooling off the sweat. Did I mention that it’s effing hot here? No? It’s really fucking hot here.

We don't venture out until around well after eight. To the Bamboo 2 Bar. Where I get stuck into mojitos. And Mikey that watery Bia Saigon green. 

"You're never going to get pissed on that stuff, Mikey." 

"That sounds like a challenge."

 There's Aussie rugby league on the TV. Paramatta vs North Queensland. And the Aussie bloke from the other night is there and we have a brief chat.

People come around trying to sell various crap. But they aren’t too pestery.

“It’s much worse in Bali.” Mikey says.

“Yes, I remember. Really annoying.”

After a few drinks, we continue on a few doors down to The Dude Bar. Where we sit outside. Because it's dark and loud inside.

Mikey is quite pissed. How does he manage that on just beer? I’m still on the cocktails. We chat with some Aussie women for a while. But it’s nearing the end for both of us. I'm knacked and Mikey is pissed. Did I mention already that Mikey is pissed?

“I’m pished.” Mikey says.

“I’d noticed. Well done. I never thought you'd manage on that piss water you were drinking."”

“Thank you. I try my best.”

We get a taxi back after just the one. It's not that late, around 11:30. I wouldn't want to go missing my breakfast through another late night, would I?

I buy some soju in the combini. But don't drink any, just go to bed. I’m so knacked I don’t even have a chat with Mr. Ardmore.

The Dude Bar
210 Bạch Đằng,
Phước Ninh,
Hải Châu,
Đà Nẵng 550000.

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