Photo of Major Danger age 8 Months
Major danger woke up in a rush. He was bundled up and placed into a big car on a cool morning. One of the first cool morning he’d ever felt but there it was. Cold air and a big open car. Many new things were happening, new family had appeared, new foods and people. Plus he was mobile, something he had been fighting for a long time now. Movement! Still wedged into the car and wrapped in his blanket Major danger was apprehensive. He looked around him. To his right was Mama, and to the left Aunt Sylvia. They seemed excited but nervous. So he knew he needn’t to cry that this morning wasn’t normal. They already knew.
They drove for a long time and he remained calm. At one stop, a big building with lots of shiny objects he could look at but not take. “No, no, we don’t need any souvenirs at this tourist trap.” Mama said to him. Then over food she made lots of faces at him while wearing those mirror eyes. Why does everyone always make faces at him, he pondered. Though the stop was big and he enjoyed all of the paintings, and the women in Au Dai* fusing over him made him smile.
‘Huge and large and water!’ Major Danger thought when they stopped. It had warmed up again under the sun and it was unfamiliar place with ‘hot’ black floor and cars. But that golden blue expanse! More familiar than anything else though no one would let him move past the big rocks to join it. Still hustled down a gangplank and onto a rocking floor to another rocking house that sat atop the big blue abyss. “We are on a boat.” Tata said. There was a sputtering, some noise and lots of people around watching the land move further and further away.
Major Danger and Company were at see for the first time ever!
Large rocks shot up from the water to the sky. Covered in green and scattered in the distance the boat rocked under a hot sun towards them, towards Major dangers first adventure.
On top of the boat was a green grass, but not like grass. Major Danger crawled around up top on the darker bit. He was practicing, for he knew soon things would change, and he’d need his moving speeds at tip top shape. He’d already learned the ‘walk on hands with but in air’ was faster than ‘Seal Crawl’ but ‘knees down hands out’ was easiest. A few people came and made bird noises at him and he showed off by going over the frame from outside to inside. He played with Uncle Kacper, Aunt Sylvia, Tata, Mama, and many others on the top of the boat.
“But in air” Crawl
Hands out knees down
Aunt Sylvia, the lady in blue, used the picture device on Uncle. It seemed that everyone needed many pictures even Tata had a time getting pictures of Mr. Danger. He explored the top full of laying down chairs, green grass that’s not grass, the brown floor and some smaller rock floors in the back where Tata and Uncle sat. Last but not least was the bedroom with a big window of the big blue water.
Soon the big sun went down. Everyone tapped glasses together and then a lady showed them how to roll ‘Nem’** with shrimp and vegetables inside. As the clinking of glasses got more frequent he started rubbing his eyes and Mama came to feed him and place him in bed. The sea was calm and always Mama or Tata was in the room to make him feel safe.
And the sun goes down on the dragons teeth
The sun shone through the bay window into their room. Major Danger opened his eyes and helped himself to the floor. This wasn’t his normal room or crib so it was a new day to explore. He left the warm and cozy bed with Mama and Tata and started his second day. A day to explore an Island and a cave. Mama put a green hat on me to protect my head from the sun.
Through the water a smaller boat cut towards the tower of land and trees that loomed over them. The guides told of a story about the mother of dragons. A long long time ago the king or emperor of Vietnam Sent his beautiful Mother dragon to help Vietnam. After helping Vietnam the dragon came to this bay and placed its emerald teeth here to form a wall to protect Vietnam. Over time the teeth turned into the high towers you see now. The people who live here and in Ha Long stay to show respect to the mother and her dragons who landed onto this bay as “Ha Long” means “Landing Dragon”***.
*Thump* The boat landed on a hard rock of a dragons tooth. Mama and Tata carried the Major across the hot stones to a place where water met a new soft floor. “Beach” Tata said sternly, “You Go.” Mama helped him put his feet in the water. These sensations were new and exciting. The water moved on its own without Tata, Mama, or he splashing it. With water dripping from his feet mama carried him to the beach.
Now this was something new. A floor that moved under him! He tried ‘knees down hands out’ crawl but only flopped. He braced for impact but the soft sand only moved from his chin. ‘It sticks’ He thought but had no way of conveying it to Mama. Next he tried ‘Seal’ Crawl and moved until he became fascinated with the stickiness of the sand. He stared at the pieces of beach he held in his hands, moving the slowly. Then he scratched his face and his eyes and… and… Oh No! The sand had stuck to his face and eyes. This time he knew how to tell Mama. He scrunched his face and gave small bleating(like a seal) wails. Concerned and frustrated Mama used water and her hands to un-stick the sand. Then Mama fanned him for some reason.
He continued researching the sand its properties for as long as he could.
You dip I dip we Dip
Afterwards they went into the dragons tooth! It was dark for Major but Tata carried him in on the slippery steps. They even let him move around in what was called a “Large Cave.” After several rooms they came to the other side and Danger saw what he was waiting for, Stairs! He made his way up and down them getting more and more practice so that one day he would be able to return and explore the dragons teeth again.
With that they returned to the bigger boat. Then back to Ha Long city where they took the big car again and after what felt like forever(he let them know too that it was too long with some good noises), they made it back! Back to home with the puzzle floor, and his own white bed.
Major Danger had gone to Ha long bay and bared through Boats, Beaches, Caves and even Dragons!
*Au Dai is a traditional Vietnamese dress. Tight fitting with flowing pieces they are usually very colorful and ornate.
** Vietnamese Spring Rolls
*** Usually translated as Descending Dragon. There was no guide who told us this story, we’ve heard it before.