Saturday, October 2, 2010
Killing Time in the Rain--Hue
Dateline: Still Hue. Still Raining. A Lot. Decided it was insane to try for the Lao border in this deluge, so stayed in Hue for another day (October 3rd, 2010, day 26 of 49) Counting down, 4 more days available on my Viet Nam Visa. . .h'mm. Anyway, only the true hard core would have made the dash for the border today. And the weather conditions in Lao have deteriorated over night too. Oof.
Anyway, for amusement, I put on a pair of synthetic shorts, a pair of plastic sandals, a short sleeved shirt and my new Easy Rider Rain Coat/Cape affair and went to the market across the river. This is a very big market, a large building with the interior divided into very small individual shops, which sell just about anything that needs to stay dry, often in groups or tribes of vendors, so you have your choice of five or six people to buy the same selection from. ..then the selection changes to something else entirely and on and on. You can get very lost inside, but will eventually spot daylight down a corridor somewhere, and thus find the outside, and from there figure out where you left your motorbike. The perimeter outside is likewise divided into quite smal shops, though the shops are a little bigger and have individual electricity, so are much better lit, often selling things like watches and gold, high end stuff. . .and then there are the sidewalks around the perimeter. . .where small lots of local produce are for sale from impromptu sales stalls (that are, however, remarkably consistent over time).
The roads are running water here, most of the photos are just from in front of the hotel, though there are more spectacular floods all over. This isn't river water, the river is a little high, but nowhere near bank full yet, it's just runoff trying to get to the river!
Anyway, I managed to buy a new pair of plastic sandals in the precisely correct size (45, whatever that means) and a tiny piece of roast pork (needed salt and I didn't have any), and some peanut brittle for the young ladies and gentlemen of the hotel, but, more to the point, I took the little waterproof Panasonic camera I brought for just such events and set it at a film speed of 400 (way to sensitive for the little machine, it does very poorly at that point, but there just isn't much light to be had). I wouldn't dream of taking the good camera out in this weather, it doesn't even pretend to be waterproof, so today was a deliberate attempt to go out and shoot blurry, grainy photographs. Hopefully though, a few of them will turn out to be really pretty anyway, and they'll all give you a bit of the flavor of a Vietnamese market and the streets on a really miserable day.