Old dog, new tricks

Since this roving life doesn’t include a pet, I’ve taken to borrowing one.

The loveable wee mutt above is Pedro, the house dog, sniffing and surfing and fetching his way up and down Moana Sands beach.

After a few games of indoor soccer, I realised he was bursting at the seams with excess energy.

I took him for a couple of trial morning walks, him straining at the end of the tether, and leaving his signature around the neighbourhood.

After a couple of days of that, I risked unleashing him on the beach. Straight for the water he went, and never mind the other dogs, or their hind ends. Next he suggested some games of fetch with the beach pebbles.

I saw him that, and raised him a piece of driftwood, and it’s been game on ever since.

Most mornings, a low whistle or a rattle of his tether will see him come tumbling down the stairs all a-quiver.

He’s a smart, but aggressive wee guy. Maybe it’s his element, as well as mine, but at the beach he’s much less prone to bite things.

Business as usual

At the risk of sounding complacent, it is pretty much business as usual here in Nha Trang.

Most mornings, I go to the seaside for a morning walk, along with an estimated 500 – 1000 like-minded people. All at once, at any one time between around 5.30 and 7.00 a.m.

The northern Nha Trang seaside is a stretch of about 5km of beachfront, with a 3 or 4 -metre wide paved walking path alongside. And, ideal swimming along most of its length.

So it’s not just me running amok amid chaos, it’s a good slice of Nha Trang. So, about that, and as of the time of writing;

  • Khanh Hoa’s one and only case of the virus recovered, and the province was declared virus-free on February 26.
  • Total number of cases per million population throughout Vietnam – 2.
  • Total cases / million of population in New Zealand – 107.

Vietnam’s testing and isolation seems to have started much earlier, which might account for some of the difference. Either way, it is one of the safer places in the world to be right now.

In other news, and answering a family member’s questions;

  • Getting warmer?

    Yes, it’s … toasty. Usually above 25 deg C for morning walks. Toughest is early afternoons, before the wind gets up, a time many Vietnamese will take refuge in a nap

  • Online students

    Yes, still teaching Japanese adults mainly, although the number of bookings has slowed. I’m not sure whether that’s down to their purse-strings tightening, or my popularity fading a little after an initial honeymoon period.

  • Supermarkets

    .. are open as usual. The larger ones will do customers the service of pointing a device at their foreheads on entering. Taking temperature as a shortcut to virus status.

  • Plane ticket refunds

    I have a one-year credit for the Air New Zealand ticket from Sydney to Auckland. The ticket from Da Nang to Sydney I made the mistake of booking via an agency rather than directly with the airline. That’s proving difficult to recoup. I can re-book for a later date, but that’s not ideal because I don’t yet know when the ( current non-existent ) school term will end.

  • Apartments

    I’m considering a ‘kind’ ( their visitor numbers have obviously plummeted ) offer to return to Moonstone apartments for a rate reduced to just below what I’m now paying at Vinh Quang in the North. Vinh Quang is ideally placed for closeness to the beach, but the dog- and traffic ( horns ) noise is really starting to bug me. I almost started to lose my rag yesterday at a local who was spectacularly … unhelpful. So, maybe time to deal with the stress before it gets too much worse. Moonstone has a better kitchen, it has a couch, and it has less noise from bike horns. It also has a worse dog problem, and is 15 minutes or so further from the beach. Still, it’s something I’m thinking on, I’d love to be free of the bike-horn noise which is like water torture – it’s constant – drip, drip, drip….