This is what it’s all about

The best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages. I only woke up once and that was to turn the fan off as I just didn’t need it. Other than that, I slept right through from 10pm to 8am, being woken by my alarm for the first time in ages.

Sticking to a plan I’ve had for a week or so now, I started the day with 100 situps. This hurt. I’ve done next to no exercise since I left the UK other than walking. While I’ve been in Hanoi, I played football every Sunday morning for an hour until the pitch was booked out from under us by someone with more money. Then there was the fateful swimming/sunburn incident. Ow.

I then attempted 100 pressups, but as my wrists are still somewhat dodgy I couldn’t finish them. Instead, I donned a shirt and trunks and went for a jog on the beach.

This is how to start a day. A quiet beach, clean surf, and an MP3 player with just the right motivational music. I expected to do maybe a mile. I ended up doing nearer two, then stopping for a quick swim when I got back near Hoa’s Place.

Andrew WK screaming “I get wet”, Hatebreed belting out that “If you don’t live for something then you’ll die for nothing” and Machine Head advising that you should “Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast” are way more motivational (to me) than any pumped up gym-jockey gurning obscenities. At least they were until my mp3 player died. It now just constantly switches itself off and back on. Off and back on. Never getting as far as playing anything. Using the “key lock” button stops this happening, so I can only assume the on/off button’s shorted. Brilliant.

By the time I’d showered and had my rather delicious fresh fruit and yoghurt breakfast, my legs had decided to revolt. Maybe I should consider stretching. Or doing less exercise at my age. Or just doing it again tomorrow and the day after. I don’t think a morning jog will be an option in Ho Chi Minh City.

I spent most of the day reading and eating the great food provided by the Hoa clan. A trip to the Marble Mountain had to be postponed as the heavens opened in the late afternoon. Four people who’d hired mopeds returned like drowned rats. On scooters.

Dinner was “same same, but different” to the previous night. A smorgasbord of Vietnamese deliciousness from rice to wheat noodles to a thick soup and chunks of chicken in lemongrass. I ate till I was bursting then sat and chatted to an English mother and daughter and a Kiwi couple who have done a lot of travelling.

Just after 11:00, a small group headed down to the beach and I joined them. Pitch black, a handful waded into the water for a swim. One guy sat on the beach and played guitar. I simply stood with the warm surf washing over my feet staring at the stars.

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