South China Sea
I never knew that raindrops could sting. But they can really smart: when you're riding on the back of a motorcyle, wearing a helmet that covers only your skull, driving through a thundershower.
I was on my way out of the city of Quy Nhơn to the beach resort where Lisa and Eric are staying, some 16 km south. I got off the bike, paid the driver, and scurried through the rain into the lobby.
Eric and Lisa are taking a couple weeks away from life in Beijing to tour Vietnam. They welcomed me into their suite, offering up a hot local beverage: coffee filtered through a French press dribbled into condensed milk.
Lisa was busy with a writing project, leaving me and Eric free for the afternoon. We quickly found a diversion. The resort had a regular activity schedule for guests. Every Friday at 2:30 PM was an introductory Vietnamese language lesson. They had already booked two slots. But, with Lisa still busy writing into the late afternoon I could stand in for her: taking my first look at Vietnamese. Eric and I brought our cups of coffee and condensed milk out into the main lobby.
Eric, Lisa, and David
I bid farewell to Eric and Lisa after dinner and took a taxi (this time a real car, not a motorcycle) back to Quy Nhơn. We're planning to get together one final time before we all move along, this time here in town. They'll return to Beijing; my next stop is the ancient city of Hoi An.
Before leaving the resort I made a point to do one thing. I walked out onto the beach and dipped my hands into the waters flowing in. The South China Sea is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. I'm hoping that I can mark the end of this trip by laving my hands in waters of the Atlantic--making my journey entirely overland, without a single flight.