I awake at 9:32. Just too late for brekkie. Damn that late night. Instead of eating, I do my tippy-tappy thing.
Without notes, I have nothing but whatever photos I can be arsed to take to prompt my memory. Which, on its own, is little better than a goldfish’s.
Mikey messages me. The bastard got up at 9:15 and just dodged the 9:30 breakfast deadline. Typical. The jammy git.
When I’ve got my arse in gear, we have lunch downstairs. Fried dim sum for me. Very nice, they are. And you get five.
“Did you notice that you get more fried dim sum than boiled for your money?”
“I pointed that out to you yesterday, Ronald.”
“Did you? I don’t recall that.”
I wash the food down with a Huda beer. It’s another fairly watery one, not much over 4% ABV. Like a soft drink, really.
We have an important mission today. Getting me a Vietnamese sim card. Mikey knows where we need to go. So off we head. Into the effing heat. It’s amazing how it’s hot every day here in the tropics.
It’s not very far. But I’m pretty sweaty by the time we get there. Very sweaty. Just as well the man in the shop does the sim insertion. My hands are so sweaty my phone would probably slip through them.
30 days, 4 gig of data per day, 10 euros. That’s what I’ve got. I’ve no idea how much data that is. How much will I use? I’m totally clueless. Mikey says it’s plenty. He understands this stuff, so I believe him. I don’t really have any option.
On the way back, we have a quick beer. Larue. Cheap, but only 4.2% ABV. The place is deserted, other than us and half a dozen staff.
“How do all these restaurants survive? They don’t seem to have many customers.”
“Or any, Mikey.”
I decide to impress the kids with my mobile data by messaging them from the pub.
I’m using 4g.
Like mobile data.
Alexei: But why is using 4g then so special? We have it back at home
Dolores: Try not to waste money on 4G, don't they have wifi?
Not everywhere. And it only cost 10 euros.
Alexei: For a sim card?
Yes. 30 days, 4 gig a day.
Alexei: Ah I see that is quite cheap. Did Mikey help you setting it up?
Why do you ask?
Alexei: Because you barely know how your phone works...
That's not true. Cheeky git.
That clearly impressed Alexei. I feel so modern. Now I can annoy all my friends, well, Mikey, by fiddling with my phone while we’re out drinking.
“I’ll never have to talk to you again, Mikey.”
“I’ve created a monster.”
We drop by the combini on the way back. The one closest to the hotel, amusingly called Hee!. Which has a selection of soju and a small terrace. Where we sit and have a drink. Beer for Mikey, soju for me, obviously.
I dive into my room for a chill. A literal chill. I really need to cool down. It’s currently 36º C outside. With the humidity, it feels like well over 40º C. Andrew would love it here. Except he’d be dead within ten minutes. Fifteen tops. I need to look into getting life assurance for him.
After a couple of hours of heavenly cool, I descend to the restaurant. Where Mikey awaits.
We go out onto the terrace to eat. I splurge: steamed and fried dim sum. What an extravagant bastard I am.
“You know, the fried dim . . .”
“I’ll stop you there, Ronald. I know it’s better value. I mentioned it first.”
“Yes, you senile twat.”
“You’re sounding like the kids.”
Fed, we head to the pub at 20:30. Mikey suggests we start at Simple Man, a sort of rock pub.
“They have cheap local shots.” Says the man who’s already been here a few days.
“Funny you should have noticed that. I’m sold.”
“That’s because you’re a pishhead.”
I’m not going to argue with someone who has such a deep insight into my soul.
I have a mojito. It's full of alcoholy goodness. It's pretty quiet, as it's still early. I say quiet. Empty would be a better description. The barmaid is tiny and looks about twelve. Though the way she gets stuck into the fags when not serving betrays a greater age.
“They really like AC/DC here, don’t they?” I comment about the music. Heavy rock in general. Or maybe that’s just the bars we’ve visited.
Next is Bamboo 2 Bar. Which is pretty full. We’re lucky to find seats. I have a mojito again. There are some interesting fellow customers again. And what Mikey assures me is a lady boy. We only have a couple. Drinks, I mean. Not lady boys.
On the way back, we drop by the local combni. Which now has a massive terrace, filled with the local youth having cheap drinks. Soju for me again. 76K for 360 ml. A bargain.
Showing off, I’m on WhatsApp with Alexei again. Out in the wild. It’s so thrilling.
Alexei: Did you try any of the motorcycle taxis yet?
No. Mikey keeps trying to get me to take one. No funking way.
Alexei: Isn't it extremely safe though? Usually they stack like 4 small children on a single bike
Yeah, right. Probably safer than the freeway in LA. The most I saw on a moped in Thailand was 7 people.
Alexei: You should try the motorcycle taxi or riding one yourself. Do a couple of wheelies, donuts and such.
No way you're getting me on anything with just 2 wheels. Just saw a kid who looked about 11 riding a moped.
Alexei: Did Mikey use the motorbike cab yet?
Alexei: So why didn't you too? Isn't it cheaper than a car cab? And faster?
I want to live. But both are dirt cheap.
It's around midnight when I get to bed. I don't want to miss tomorrow’s breakfast.
Ardmore is my sleepytime companion again. Rocking me gently to sleep.
Hee Mart 2
91 D. Đình Nghệ,
Đà Nẵng 550000.
Simple Man Pub
267 Đ. Trần Hưng Đạo,
An Hải Bắc,
Đà Nẵng 550000.