An Bang 1/1 by Tripoto
Camille Willemain
Waves crash violently, drowning the hushed screams of children who play along the shore. Hammocks sway under huts made of bamboo and woven palms that rustle in the gentle wind. Reggae music and French chatter emanate from the beachfront bar where I sit drinking from a coconut, my feet covered in sand. In the distance islands struggle to appear through a thick haze. Fishermen steer in the rough sea aboard the small round boats used by their people for centuries. Local women sweep debris from the sand, covered head to toe in garments to block the rays of the sun. A few wander my way selling peanuts and boiled quail eggs. The sun is behind me now shielding sunbathers with its dramatic shadows. I exchange shy smiles with the French bartender, who is quite possibly the most beautiful man I have ever seen. My time in Vietnam has not been easy, but today I feel filled with such hope I could explode. I feel gratitude for my incredible life that I am so blessed to be living. In one week my visa in this beautiful, complicated, fascinating country will expire. I never thought I would say this, but I don’t ever want to leave.