Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The water is rising

We got to Hoi-An on Monday afternoon, in time to walk around town and marvel at how the river had swollen since the last time M was in town. The next morning, the water seemed to have risen slightly but it wasn't until after lunch that we realized that it was really going to inundate the town.

By nightfall, the water had claimed the street closest to the river and the air was charged with urgency: local shopkeepers hurrying to get their goods off the ground level, motorbikes whizzing about and a heightened level of noise and alarm generally.

The next morning, the field behind our hotel had turned into a swamp and very large parts of town were inaccessible. But the oddest thing was that it was a lovely day - dry and clear - not even a hint of rain. We had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel's veranda, overlooking the swamp and the lone fisherman toiling to set his fishing lines through it, then walked out to find the river greeting us within ten metres of leaving the hotel.

I've done some travelling, but this is the first time I've ever patted a friend on the back and thanked her for booking a hotel a few streets back from the river.

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