Looking like it’s going to rain all day. It’s been going on since early morning; I woke up to it beating on the metal roof of my homestay in Lao Chai. I was presented for breakfast perhaps the best phơ I’ve eaten in all Vietnam (to add to the great dinner accompanied by a large amount of rice and corn wine). Mama Suu and I settled on a price and then I bought something from her, negating the “discount.” It seems I can’t help not budgeting myself. I could perhaps write out a budget but I am not that kind of a planner. I wouldn’t stick to it anyway. Mama Suu found me a responsible motorbike driver to take me back to Sa Pa, which I didn’t have to pay for. Responsible is the key word. Safe, as well. Because the village is situated at the bottom of the valley and Sa Pa is at the top, or a good distance up, when it rains the rutted out, muddy, gravel and rock strewn road, trail or path (whatever one may consider it) turns into a river. It’s all too easy to imagine an unskilled driver wrecking himself and maybe his bike. It’s rather disappointing to see with all the construction going on in Sa Pa that more important infrastructural improvements such as proper roads, and bulwarks to prevent soil erosion and landslides in important areas are taking a backseat. Small steps perhaps? But as with most government and business related projects, money, and namely what can make them money is prioritized.