Well, here I am, lost down a little alley somewhere in Old Saigon. I took a wrong turn somewhere. Okay, well, maybe not a “wrong turn”, it just wasn’t the right one, and now I’m here. Sitting at a little metal table on the side of a narrow alley with a bottle of Saigon Export Bier to keep me company before the food arrives. I don’t like beer in all honesty, but the day has been hot and humid, and beer is the perfect opposite of that. A welcome antidote.
Granny across the way is watching tv, sitting on the floor of her small apartment that opens right out onto the footpath. It doesn’t matter, she owns a 40” LCD, and that says something. She’s looked up and noticed me, the Tay, sitting across from her. She stares for a good long while, I supposed even for a Tay (from the west) I may look fairly interesting, then she grunts and goes back to her soap opera.
My food comes quicker than you would have thought, flat noodles and veg with a fried egg, lathered in hot sauce. It’s good, and hot, and then gone. I didn’t really need to eat but it felt nice to sit and drink and absorb the world around me. It’s a mad world, a busy world. But it’s good. It’s the first time in weeks that I’ve been truly quiet, and truly at peace in the midst of the storms around me.
Nowhere is that anecdote more true than at eleven pm, alone, on the streets of Old Saigon…
(Okay. Now for a bit of a fun interlude, a video on what happened during Halloween in Ho Chi Minh the night after 😅 )