“Well imagine that,” you must be thinking. “He actually got off his lazy butt and decided to write something!”
So, as with most things that have become a tad confusing and outdated, one would do well to take it back the beginning, the root so to speak, and look at what it was then and what it has become. Thus, without trying to seem too arrogant, I want take this blog back to what it was when I, in a haze of dust and a revelry of real-life phantasm and delirium, stopped writing on it (barring the lame excuses and drawn out promises of updates). So thus, I introduce “Part 1” of the recount of my experiences to date.
That would take me back to the end of April, after a return from Mui Ne and Al Berg’s visit. I would like you now to imagine the soothing, trebling voice of a stage-hypnotist, softly caressing your senses, an oracular, oral massage of a message:
“Imagine a secluded beach resort, run by an eccentric Canadian, with nothing but beach and semi-private bungalows in sight…imagine being stroked to sleep by the narcotic breaking of waves onto the sand at night, drifting away under your mosquito net…imagine spending the days alternating between lying under a crude bamboo shelter on the beach with your partner, sheltered from the sweltering sun, occasionally venturing out from under the cover to cool off in the blue ocean, and lazing in a hammock, reading your book, drinking a beer, with nothing to worry about except running out of sunscreen or mosquito repellent,” and like the TV Bar chocolate advertisement of old – of the boys sheltering under the bus-stop in the pouring rain - the hypnotist utters the memorable line; “Imagine all of that…NOW!” and snaps his fingers and the audience let out a communal sigh and eyes roll back in their heads as if they’re fervent members of a religious cult.
“That, ladies and gentleman, is Jungle Beach Resort, 60 kilometres north of Nha Trang City on the south-east coast of Vietnam,” croons the tuxedo-clad hypnotist. Yet, suddenly he coughs and stutters. What could be the matter?
“But, all is not what it seems to be,” he rasps. “Beware, the lures of the so-called ‘trek to the waterfall’. It is not as glamorous as it seems. The road is treacherous and the journey arduous,” warns the man on stage, “and the end result will not be what you expected. Where, in your delusions of splendour you saw a shimmering sheet of water falling from the heights of a marble mountain only to splash, bubble and foam into a crystal-clear pool at the bottom, in reality you’ll be greeted by a trickle running down a mossy, sloped rock, ending in a dirty pool with a big irrigation pipe leading into it.”
“Heed this warning, too, of not overstaying your visit beyond the scope of the limited menu, which seems to be about five days, by which time dinners seem to repeat themselves.”
“But,” (the hypnotist is about the bring the audience out of their fantasy) “do not underestimate the healing power of a few days at Jungle Beach, which may cure even those most beset of evils such as city-sadness, city-sickness and covered-in-city-slickness.”