A natural disaster hits and I know nothing of it until all the danger has passed (I blame bad coverage in the Bangkok Post). I missed all of the mud-filled drama and only suffered through one serious down pour in Saigon. Only now that I am in Hoi-An, which got slapped hard by this typhoon, do I realize that the shit went down and big time. The hotel I am currently staying in has water marks 4 feet high and this is at least a third of a klick from the river. On our train ride from Nha Trang to Danang we saw billboards that had been knocked over, trees ripped up with roots exposed, and rice paddies which had been turned into fields of muddy mush. It was a bit like turning up at the end of a party only to watch the cleaning crew do its thing.
On my run this morning I was musing that it is a testament to the Vietnamese people that 5 days after a typhoon Hoi An is up and running again. Yes there is more mud and garbage in the streets, and there are a lot of downed trees, but the internet is working! Holy hell. The tailors are still doing roaring business, Cargo Club is serving brownies, Tam Tam cafe is making cappuccinos. Ok, so the old pontoon/plastic barrel bridge is gone, most of the road along the river is still coated in mud, and the fish market has never smelled so bad, but that is nit picking. Compared to the cluster fuck of Hurricane Katrina, the recovery from Ketsana, at least in this neck of the woods, is remarkable.
The following link has some amazing photos from the typhoon. Check it out.