Popping the bubbles in bubble wrap is a universal temptation it seems. On the platform, waiting for the train to pull in, the rail staff are tearing strips from the dozens of motorbikes lined up with handlebars taped with bubble wrap and cardboard (not sure whether they're coming or going but they soon won't have much padding left) and sit idly popping away. The sound of the popping is too much for the waiting passengers and they start to join in. We'd arrived at the station just after 7.30 to make sure we could get onto the 9 o'clock train to Danang. We were pleasantly surprised to get tickets marked 8.46 - a bit earlier is good - and headed to a nearby food stall for breakfast of banh mi trung (fried eggs, cucumber and fresh herbs in a bread roll) and coffee. But now it was 10.45 and we'd just been allowed through onto the platform as the train was, presumably, approaching. Not surprising the bubble wrap had appeal I guess. Twenty minutes later we finally departed.
The list of things to get "when we're in a bigger city" was getting longer, and included some things Owen needed before classes restarted after the Tet break - so - we decided there was just time for a quick dash to Danang and back before the holiday. It was a chance to try out the trains and be a tourist in a big city for a couple of days. Danang was bustly with shoppers, and awash with stalls selling flowers, decorations and banh Tet (rolls of sticky rice stuffed with pork and beans, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed) but we did enjoy a couple of nights in a hotel and a bit of western food for a change. The shopping was successful too.
We've since seen in the New Year year and had the three day holiday involving lots of feasting and visiting family, friends and neighbours which we were very pleased to be invited to join in with. We walked to the square on New Year's Eve to watch performances on an outdoor stage and fireworks at midnight. Another post later.