Jan 8th – Day Five
In the morning my phone tells me that last night I made plans for us to meet some locals today to be shown around the downtown area...but because of the night before this ends up being much more like late afternoon and it is with more than a slight guilt we meet up with our incredibly patient new (we hope) friends to go for a breakfast/dinner of pho noodles. We’re then shown around the markets where you can get just about anything you want for less cash than you’d buy 20 cigarettes for in the UK, but we’re not tempted to slap our Dong out (yes, the currency here is called Dong) and end up just talking to our friends (after apologising profusely it seems we are easily forgiven) and learning as much about life here as possible. The markets are like rabbit warrens and of course in true Spinal Tap style we manage to get lost. We’re a band, individually not too stupid, but somehow collectively brainless.
One thing have learnt from our band’s travels that I’m not really a sight-seeing guy. Trips away to me are not made great by looking at a big, impressive building or a visit to a museum to see some artefact. Don’t get me wrong, i appreciate these things and respect people who enjoy these aspects but for me the real stand out moments are always things like making new friends, meeting a real character or ending up in a unique situation. So this day of hanging out in an unfamiliar, vibrant city with such great people showing us round and feeling like we have known them for ages is exactly the kind of day i will remember for a long time.
In the evening we all head over to the Acoustic Bar where we’d previously done our press conference to watch a girl sing called Trang. She is a big deal here and puts on a great show with the place totally packed out. After she finishes the owner asks us to get onstage and play a few songs, so we squeeze through the crowd, pick up our pretty random selection of instruments and bash out Sometimes, I Give Up, All Gonna Die and Slipping Away with the drummer from the house band joining us on bongos. An unexpected and amazing end to the day with the crowd going reassuringly crazy.