The Beach. We venture into the remote with a decamp by taxi to An Bang beach, just north of Hoi An. Greg booked us two nights in a villa to get away from it all. This villa is not exactly remote as we are surrounded by Vietnamese families who pound bricks in the morning and make dinner in the evening. I change clothes in the privacy of our bathroom to preserve the modesty of the neighborhood from indecency of pale white flesh.
We do have a private outdoor shower and extra pairs of slippers just for the bathroom. The Vietnamese try hard to keep their floors clean. Although we brush our feet assiduously, we still track sand all over the living room and bathroom. I don’t mind the dust, but Greg frequently shakes the sheets out. I’m still figuring out the twin flush buttons on the toilet.
Greg suggests a lie on the beach, about 100 yards from our front door. We rent two beach lounge chairs with a pair of umbrellas. I watch the pleasant surf, the other tourists, my Kindle book, and a Vietnamese fisherman prepare his round boat for evening fishing. Always active, I don’t know what one does on the beach. I pace the shore, collect whorled shells, and meditate on how the year might progress.
Back at the villa, the sun sets. I encourage Greg to open the bottle of Vietnamese red wine I bought in Hoi An. The wine starts rough but mellows with either breathing or our inebriation. I bestow a birthday card and two small birthday gifts.
We drunkenly shamble down the beach to the restaurant area of An Bang Village. We pick a simple, deserted restaurant and order barbecued scallops and barbecued mackerel. After more beer, we shamble back home to our villa.