Friday, May 4, 2012
Day Before a Holiday, Cat Ba Island
Crossing the bridge, plastic chairs lined up with "fresh" beer and pandan leaf wrapped snacks. Wooden boats docked five thick float on trash that floats on water. Families in the darkness of their cabins eat on the floor while watching Vietnamese dramas on TV. Two iron grey navy boats are moored together. The troops are in their boxers sharing their bath time with each other and the world on the ship's bow. In one junk, I see a group of sweaty shirtless fishermen sharing dinner and rice wine. One of them spots me and summons the attention of the others. They beckon me inside. If I entered and never came out, no would ever know where to start looking.
The sun sets behind the limestone peaks, the mosquitoes come out for their nightly binge drinking. The streets are quiet before the holiday. Quiet except for a lone club, glass doors wide open, flashing lights and loud disco. A bartender with no one to serve.
Only the deaf and dying will go to sleep early tonight.