Wednesday 9 January 2008

Day 11: A Good Day to Unwind

It really hit me today that my time here in Vietnam was really ending. Didn't I just get here?

Business as usual - checked the internet at De Tham Brothers Cafe and the ladies at the orphanage continued their bitching. :) A nice surprise came as I met two Orange County locals - hopefully I'll see them on Friday!

Class was canceled today as the children needed to help clean, so my only option was to go shopping! I walked down Bahn Thanh where I bought a case for a deck of cards (50,000Dong from the original 90,000Dong) and a wooden turtle. Too bad one of the turtles was marked 60,000Dong and when I asked for the price, the woman said 45,000Dong (shady). I bargained to get it down to 35,000Dong and then traversed to the Saigon Center for more shopping.

Tip: Beyond the travel agencies, see the Tourist Information offices too! They offer free internet and are great resources for spas! :) A great one lies at the intersection of Le Loi/Nguyen Hu.

Ao dai - Traditional Vietnamese dress!

Had beef pho for 2,000Dong and met Jay from New Hampshire who was trying to get a Vietnamese tattoo. To his disappointment, I had to explain that Vietnamese used Roman letters and the "symbol" he saw on a menu was just a Chinese symbol. I had a great experience watching the water puppet show! Múa rối nước literally means "puppets that dance on water." The tradition of having wooden puppets dance in a waist-deep pool dates back to the 10th century. My interest laid in the puppet's intricate movements in the water as well as the movements to the traditional music - the music really makes the show!

Múa rối nước - Water puppet show!

San (the motorbike driver) drove me home and didn't even take my tip! Nice guy. Unfortunately, my night ended with the crazy grandma walking in on me in the shower after slapping me a few days earlier for not knowing Vietnamese. Oh, geez!

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