I woke up this morning a bit a wreck. I perhaps did not mention that on the bus ride back from Quy Nhon, there was a young man riding with us that had a bit of a cough. Well guess what… The next day Brad came down with symptoms of a cold. Myself, a day or two later. We have been headachy, stuffed up and sore for a few days. Brad seemed to get the worst of it. We are almost better now, but still some traces remain. Mai thankfully never caught anything from us. Maybe this virus only likes men, sort of like the darned mosquitoes here.
Let me tell you a bit about the mosquitoes here. There are different kinds than we experience at home. The biggest I have seen here is similar to the average mosquito at home but these fellows are not a problem. It seems I never get bitten by these. I think they must be a larger male version of the common mosquito here.. The ones that are the problem are tiny little light bodied ones that you cannot feel land or penetrate the skin. In every place you go here, there are fans turned on to blow the pesky thing away. This may have worked fine in the past but large surface tables and table cloths have negated the effect of blowing them off. Now the pesky little buggers are blown under the tables. They remain in these dark cool places waiting for a pair of tasty ankles to present themselves. I have no idea why, but I can sit with a dozen Vietnamese and not a one of them will get a bite, but I will go away scratching at many. And scratch it is!! The enzyme that these little buggers inject into a person causes a welt the size of a nickel and they itch worse than you can imagine. I have had many that turned into bleeding sores because of the unconscious urge to scratch. During the day there is no problem with mosquitoes. They tend to stay in the dark damp areas, and NhaTrang has a lot of sunshine and breezy days which blow them away. A person almost never gets a bite outdoors, but in restaurants and in bed sleeping….. well…that is another matter.
You may be wondering about Malaria, Dengue fever, or other diseases. Let me reassure you, there are no malaria carriers within 20 kilometers of the coast making almost all of Vietnam malaria free. Dengue fever can be caught here, but it is a rare daytime mosquito, and very few mosquitoes bite here during the day. Most are just the pesky tiny ones that leave a bad… and I mean bad itch.
And now for something completely different…….. Karen and Glen from Canada arrived yesterday. Karen works for the Union I belonged to and her husband is retired from the city. They decided to travel to NhaTrang partly because of my blog and the people who follow it at home. They flew in from Thailand and we got together for a drink the night before last. They decided to arrange for a motorcycle rental for the next day and we met to do a little sight seeing. I first took them to a restaurant for lunch next to my hotel. Karen was a little skeptical about trying seafood congee, but after a little coaching, she tried it and liked it. After we were sated, we headed for a drive in the beautiful area in which I live. It was an enjoyable slow drive. After stopping for a coffee, we drove to some ancient ruins near one of my homes called Ponaga Cham. There is a small fee to enter but locals do not have to pay. I spent a few minutes arguing playfully with them that I should not have to pay because I was a local and even showed them my id. But alas…. To no avail… I had to grudgingly have to pay my fifty cents. We ended by going to the local market for just a drive by and then back to the tourist area where I recommended them to stay. Glen did not do too bad on the driving front. He did not understand the rules of the road so I can understand his nervousness. But all in all he did OK. A day or two and he will be over the shakes, and get along OK.
Glen and Karen are looking at Thailand as a possible retirement location. I have warned them that once here, you will never want to leave. Glen is pretty Thailand minded… sooooo we will see. NhaTrang is a magical place and it is hard to forget.