mal de debarquement- a fancy way of saying “I can’t stop swaying”. Seriously I couldn’t. I don’t know whether it was the ill- advised jump into the sea from the boat after the kayaking, combined with the after effects of a “Hanoi- cold- cum- smog overdose”, but we got off the boat at Halong City, and I just couldn’t stop swaying. For the next week I would find myself stumbling and having to lean against a wall every so often. Drinking didn’t help, I tried, believe me.
The Halong Bay experience was pretty good all in all. It was nice to be back on the sea, and we met some nice people. The malaysian family with the budding photographer (who must have shot more pictures in a day than I did in the whole 3 months), the australians playing cards every night in their own bubble interrupting everybody else occasionally with loud bedroom noises, the two other brits on a year- long round the world trip and their endless scrabble match, and the americans Jimmy and Undine, two very cool cats. Organised activities (that nightmare scenario for british people unless heroic amounts of booze are consumed beforehand), singing: not a good result for us I’m afraid, but hats off to the rest of the world.