Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vietnam (34) day 32 (29.2.2012)

Total stress riding all over town trying to get a box of chocolates for Linh's birthday. I was given directions and I believed I would have success, so I kept trying and kept riding to the new place. The upside is that I got to see some places of Hoi An I would never have seen, and been inside some shops I would never have even know existed! The streets were heavy with traffic, so I stopped and got a coffee and a glass of crushed ice for little messy fish. I waited and waited. It was of poor quality, then I was over charged, and there was nothing I could do, because I did not have the correct amount, so she simply did not give me enough change. I complained and she refued to give it to me. No worries, on my bike again, keep looking for chocloates for Linh's birthday. I was just about to burst out crying when I saw couple who were staying at the homestay. The south african pilots. They were sitting at the cargo club, which is a busy tourists restaurant in the middle of town. I would ordinarily never go there to eat, for various reasons, but they suggested I sit and have a break with them. So we did. We ordered pizza for little messy fish, who cried and refused to eat it when it arrived with big fresh green basil leaves on top, and I had a juice that was 10 times the price of that which I get at the market round the corner. There was nothing about this place, but the big comfy rattan chairs. It was busy with pushy tourists, it had old vietnam war survivors approaching us and begging for money, and the service was slow and unfriendly. Still, it was very nice to sit with friends and chat. It really helped to take a break and look after myself. They could clearly see i was loosing it. What gorgeous people to be so kind. I'll always remember there kindness. But I dont like tourists restaurants still....

So despite me finally secuming to the fact that the only gift I could think of now for Linh was flowers, and I was right there at the market, I ended up having a great afternoon. Funnily enough, everyone else who was a tourist who came to Linh's birthday party also brought flowers...and funnily enough, they all looked the same. Despite the enormous range of flowers to be bought at the market, we all ended up buying the same type, and had them wrapped the same. Odd!
Linh threw an amazing party for herself. She worked so hard to put on an amazing spread of food. The floors were mopped, the furniture was cleared out, and the food was placed plate by plate as it was ready on the ground. She made vietnamese "make your own" spring rolls, steamed fish, salad mix, duck soup, sliced pork, sautéed veg, steamed veg, and baguettes. A beer was placed at every setting as was little soup bowls and chopsticks. A cake was presented and everyone sang happy birthday to Linh! Many guests sat around and chatted, and the kids played. The food was divine, and of course little messyfish did not have a single bite.

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