Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Adventure Continues


Life is a beach, and I am redhead with a bald spot.

Where oh where has the Front Door Adventure gone?  A few of my dedicated readers (aka Mom) have inquired as of late regarding my extended absence from the interwebs.  To tell the truth I have found myself asking this exact question lately as the blinking cursor and white page stare back at me with indifferent cruelty for hours at a time.  Lucky I'm unemployed and have time to waste.  It's not that I haven't been trying, it just feels like I don't have much inspiring to say lately, so I figure maybe I should just keep my mouth shut eh?

Maybe it's the fact that after over two months of rest, my knee is not much better for the lull in physical activity.  Might I feel a little pissed off that in the year of freedom Jen and I worked so hard to achieve, I am unable to celebrate the liberty of unhindered movement?  Yeah, I feel a little cheated and the hulk knocks loudly on the edge of my psyche on a fairly regular basis, but there I go again bitching about my first world problems which isn't really that fun to read about.  Again, maybe I should just keep my mouth shut?

Maybe it's because I broke all the rules?  Front Door Adventures has always been about style, shrinking my footprint and human powered adventures that mobilize from the doorstep.  Inspiration has always been born from the ethical code of these adventures for me; is this lull in creativity because I have desecrated my own constitution?  Is it a big surprise that driving a rental car up the East Coast of Australia from beach to beach provides no impetus for writing about the virtues of minimalistic travel?

Hard to say why the cats got my tongue, but a sleepless night on a train to the mountains of NW Vietnam and a  three dollar mini-keg of cheap beers finds me back at the keyboard long after Jenny has bid me goodnight and retired to the comfort the bed of our sweet thirteen-dollar hotel room.  I miss my bike and think often of how awesome it would be to be pedaling through this culturally rich and beautiful corner of the world, but hell, at least I'm no longer behind the wheel of a car.

Someday, in the not to distant future, i'll saddle my trusty steel stead and pedal off into the mountains again, but until then I'm pretty happy to have my life packed on my back and traveling on trains, buses, motorbikes and foot with my lovely wife through the beautiful country of Vietnam.

Kloshe konaway
Kloshe nanitch

Matt


Sydney, Australia.  Whenever I visit cities that have transportation dialed, I wonder when Seattle is going to get its act together.  Jenny and I had dinner with friends about 15 miles from where we were staying and covered the distance in about an hour via bus, ferry, train and foot.  

The last time I saw my cousin Kirsty, I had hair and threw her off the porch in a drunken swing dancing episode.  I kept things a little more under control this time around!




This guy hung out by our car for the two days we stayed at Crowdy Bay National Park.  He was fond of taking huge dumps all around the car and growling at us when we we tried to get in the boot.


Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, merry merry king of the bush is he….

I know this one girl who really likes going to the beach.

No pot of gold at the end of this one for Jenny, but she did find a lepreacaun.



Hanoi wheel building 101.

Dress shopping in Hanoi. Hand sewn and custom tailored for $25. 

Although things are changing rapidly, Vietnam is very much a third world country in many ways.  Even in the bustling city of Hanoi, it is not uncommon to see scenes like a man pushing a cart stacked with bamboo scaffolding and a bicycle through the busiest intersection in town.

Hanoi recycling program.

Not Portlandia.  90 percent of the bikes that I see in Hanoi are these 30 year-old Chinese made single speed rides.  The simplicity and state of repair doesn't stop the Vietnamese people from loading them up and conducting all sorts of commercial enterprises from them.  

Hanoi cargo bike; exhibit a. 

Hanoi cargo bike; exhibit b. 

Hanoi cargo bike; exhibit c.




Vietnamese humboa rolls.  Fresh pastry roll with mystery meat on the inside.  Just needs a little gravy and it would be Thanksgiving! 


Street food in Vietnam is out of this world, but not for the timid.  Mystery meat on a stick! 

Mystery meat soup.  Jen will pass on seconds!

Egg coffee, something to try…once.

video
Of all the things that amaze me about Vietnam, traffic law tops the list.  Completely uncontrolled intersections are the norm and the only rules seem to be lay on the horn and avoid collisions.  Crazy that is all seems to work!



 Wildcat!


I bargained with this guy for a haircut for $2 US.  He was drunk and I think I overpaid by about $1.75, but the locals got a good laugh out of me and I the next photo is worth at least a dollar!