“Silly man”, I thought as I walked the long stretch of An bang beach in the evening, past scenes of more silly men, like the older guy, fully clothed, lying on his back, rolling around in the surf, covered in wet sand and sea foam. Or the older couple neck deep in a straight jacket of wet sand, paralysed to fend off the gentle waves crashing over their feet. None of them had children around to excuse such silly behaviour.
There were a lot of people doing sensible things, like exercise, some of them in a silly way. Pelvic thrusts are a popular form for woman, so too is stretching, the kind you see in old age homes. But early mornings and evening times are reserved for all manner of recognisable beach activities. Some jog (men only), others swim fully clothed (both sexes) and everyone seems to dig for crabs (family fun). Others wade around in the warm, usually calm, sea, while the kids stay buoyant in big, bright life jackets, which they wear while wading and splashing about. Not a big jogger myself, a few days of oily noodles prompted me to sweat out the excess the easiest way I knew how – with a beach jog.
So I took a shot of may favourite local coffee and headed for the hard sand, hat, cream and sunglasses firmly in place. 50 meters in I was really starting to find my groove and surprised myself by activating my inner Kenyan, keeping low in the hips and solid in my straight. I felt like I could jog for miles, however many kilometres that translated too. It was great. It was like bringing “born to run” to life, minus the tough terrain or baking sun. I got it. A few kilometres in, the endorphins tributary met the caffeine serotonin blend that comes standard with the chocolaty Vietnamese coffee. I was super charged and ready to up the volume on the soundtrack to my life, which was currently looping on Pharell Williams “Happy”. I was soooo happy and flying across the wet sand until I was suddenly seized with a terrible attack of the dirty oil combo, right in my gut. My legs slowed, my heart rate increased and there was nothing left for me to do but flop into the sea, rice paddy style (fully clothed). It was even more awesome floating about in my clothes. I must still be on a high I thought as I pulled myself out the water and plopped drunk onto the sand. And as I was lying back, slunk on the sand bank that acts like a long bank of reclining chairs to the waters edge, I let myself go until I was lying like that old man, the sand and water cocktail rocking and rolling me like a little kid. I felt silly. I looked silly. I was acting silly and it was fabulous. Not a care in the world or a care if the world watched me jelly flopping around in the sand. I was happy and singing it aloud “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Because I’m happy. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you. Because I’m happy.” This was the most fun I’d had with my clothes on and my mind off. After about 20 minutes I picked myself up into the setting sun and carried my heavy limbs and light energy with me, smiling and swaying like someone drunk on love, life and the pursuit of happiness. I was living the human race dream. And it was silly.
Watch out Hoi An, the sequal’s gonna be better!
the musings continue…