Saturday, June 30, 2007

Vietnam Goodbye

I am in the Bangkok airport about to board a flight to Koh Samui, and am grateful that so far the airlines have failed to enforce the baggage allowance restrictions. I ended up buying way too many things in Hoi An, and truthfully, someone like me with little to no fashion sense should not be allowed to run free in a town with inexpensive tailors. I think of the seven items of clothing I got, one is a winner, one may be passable, and two more may not be total disasters. Laura and I are discussing having a party where we can wear our Hoi An mistakes.

The town of Hoi An was lovely, and sort of a side effect of getting so engaged in local commerce is we really got to interact with locals a lot. I even made a best friend during a wait for a merchant, though I'm not really sure what she was talking about most of the time. She did tell me that my moles meant I was lucky in Vietnamese culture, and by that measure I would guess that I am one of the luckiest people on the planet. Beyond the tailors, Hoi An has beautiful architecture (the whole town is a UNESCO world heritage site) and amazing food. Our best meal was at Chez Amis last night. There's no menu, and when you ask to see it you are instead shown the guest book and pointed to comments of your countrymen (we saw US comments, the next table saw South African ones) saying how good the place is. You choose beef, seafood, or vegetarian, and Mr. Kim then serves you a multi course meal which is delicious. I also saw him again this morning during my very early morning ramble through Hoi An (insomnia) and he was as enthused to see me as he was when I was a customer. I think that sums up the town quite well.

I am sad to have left the land of dong for the land of baht, but some beach time will be good. I need to ship some stuff back because this is getting ridiculous, and I am fairly certain the shipping costs will render any cost savings moot. But when else will I ever buy a royal blue wool overcoat?

Oh, and PS to anonymous, picasa also was unhappy with working on the computer I was on. I tried that first actually. Any other tips?


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