April 10th, 2014
The Lost Tourists
As the bus reaches its destination, the driver gave a deafening shout, quickly waking everyone up from their four hours bumpy, dead-tired bus ride. Paced out of the bus,while carrying my heavy overloaded backpack, a chill early spring breeze wings across my face. The dew lingers on the newly cut green grass, sparkle like dazzling diamonds under their fancy displays. The vivid tulips loosen their delicate petals to greet the sun. The roosters were already singing their handsome melody, warning everyone that the day was about to begin. I took a deep breath of the delightful morning gust to freshen my mind, and there I was, Dalat, The City of Love.
Five long months of waiting; five long months since the day my mom asked if I wanted to visit Vietnam for the long-lasting Eastern Iowa winter; five long months since the day I shouted “Yes!” with my heart, ready to pop out of my chest. The day finally arrived. It felt like I’ve been waited for this day all my life. Dalat was truly a mysterious city, with haunted mansions and evil spirits were rumored to be everywhere. Built in the middle of a mountain, the only way of arriving there was either by bumpy bus ride or twenty mins flight. Still not over the thirty hours with delay flight to Vietnam, I was not ready to be on again, so my friends and I took the bus; backpacking around Dalat for 3 days. After two hours in the tropical afternoon of Dalat, we finally settled for a hotel. When we arrived to our room, we were sweating like hardcore football players after their first game of the season. Determined to not waste anytime, we headed out right afterward, looking to rent mopeds (It’s the common transportation there).We were the lost tourists, wandering around, looking all over the place made me stand out from all the natives. The heart of the city was the market, by day, it was a regular grocery market and by night, it was a whole different place. Souvenirs and clothes were being sold near and far. Like ants, people were shoving and pushing each other, anxious to reach their favorite shop in time. It was as crowded as the Mall of America on a Black Friday night. No one was willing to move out of each other’s way. I’ve never seen anything more chaotic in my life. At last, we suffered our way out of the insane place, caught a taxi and rode back to the hotel. The day was long and the night so cold, I was weary and sleepy. Collapsing myself to bed, I felt as sleep as fast as a tired soldier after a lengthy training day.
Covered with monstrous, ancient pine trees. The aged paint colors really made the abandoned, haunted mansions stand out. Greatly intrigued by them, I decided to leave the next morning. My friends were extremely reluctant and terrified, did not wanted to go at all, but they finally came through and went along. Arriving at the place just before noon; an instant chill swift up my spine as I stood by the metal-rusted Victorian gate. Startled in view of the fact that the place looked nothing like how I imagined it to be. Leading to the front door was a white-marble covered sidewalk, sandwiched by dead, lifeless plants. The house has discolored significantly, giving it a dark with a bitter, frightening feeling. Frozen by the entry door, beyond the aged cracking cement. Swiftly, I grabbed the door handle which seems like it was about to fall off anytime soon. The door groans painfully as I gave it a rough push. At that point, I knew there was no turning back, that I must explore the dreadful place.
The smell attacked me as soon as I entered the house. It was strong, sickening and I couldn't help but gag. The decaying, putrid scent choked the air. However, the antique floor caught my attention; it was notably...clean. The polished hardwood furnitures and an ancient radio made the place looked like it wasn’t abandoned at all, it looked as if someone has been living there. I decided to venture a