We knew this moment would come but it came unexpectedly, while sitting at our favorite place for a cold drink — Cafe Mia. We started talking about how well Vietnam seems to be doing under communism and what a waste the Lives lost in the war was. Dirck started crying. And then I did. We talked about his brother Gregg, killed in combat here at age 19 and by all accounts a great kid from Kansas.
We moved on. It is very easy to fritter away hours here, wandering down atmospheric old streets lined with mustard-colored, dark wood and ceramic disc roofs. We are sitting on the second floor balcony of one of the most famous, the 200 year old Vinh Hung Heritage Hotel, looking down on the world passing by at 8:45 pm. Shops still open, people still sauntering, speaking all kinds of languages, some young couples wearing matching outfits (which appears to be a thing) and men taking glamour shots of their spouse/girlfriend in various sultry poses.
This morning, the street was a little quieter, which is apparently prime time for couples to pose for photos, often in elegant outfits. We made it through the night without too much noise. Our room is very dark but well air conditioned and a good mattress. I am pretty sure I felt a mouse (hoping it was a mouse) scurry down the wood hall leading to this balcony. Oh well, kind of like home.
We shopped in the French quarter which seems to have the nicest shops, but still reasonable prices. I bought too leather satchels for $40 (combined), a silk lantern, a very cute outfit for Linus, pillow cases with mod photos of Asian women. We stopped in the Central market, sitting at one of the many stalls with a nice guy from Singapore (who travels annually to a small town in Wisconsin that make packaging equipment that he sells in Asia. We ate two more famous dishes, Cam Lau (noodles in a broth with bbq pork and rice croutons. And rose dumplings – almost like Asian ravioli but much lighter.
This afternoon we returned to our “resort” and I got my free 30 minute foot massage, my first ever foot massage. heavenly. The spa was next to another pool we didn’t see yesterday. Smaller, cooler water, more secluded and we had it all to ourselves. Great way to cool off and end the day. Next stop the Shamrock Pub, a popular cafe along the river, with live music by a guy singing (well) all my favorite songs from the 70s and beyond, from Cat Stevens to U2. Great people watching, lit lanterns along the riverfront and on boats gliding along the water. We have gotten used to the crowds and are better st dealing with them and avoiding them. next time, I’d stay in the French quarter, perhaps.
Dinner tonight at Morning Glory was superb. The place was packed for good reason. They do great takes on popular street food and other local dishes. Our favorite was pork stuffed squid. Unreal.