Jan 10th – Day Seven
The Vietnamese people have to be some of the friendliest and most good-natured souls i have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Nearly everyone i met was warm, generous, gracious and easy to befriend. This wasn’t just my experience so far, but the whole band’s, as well as that of the Westerners we met along the way. A perfect example of this kind heartedness occurred this morning. We woke up, went downstairs to get some breakfast and were told by the reception staff of the hotel that we had some post. A little confused but also a little too bleary eyed to question anything too in depth we took the offered bags (not post as such after all) and discovered that one of the friends we had made who had gone out of their way to show us around the city had left US gifts before having to head abroad to university. That kind of thing gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside maybe tinged with a tiny bit if guilt too that the generosity was all coming towards us and maybe we needed to think about giving a little more back. I have always considered myself a pretty well mannered guy, but spending more time in Vietnam would be a lesson from the pros of graciousness.
All that being said the other side of the coin is that you can sometimes feel like everyone is out to fleece you. However this isn’t really the case, just the feeling 4 dumb Brits get when wandering the markets looking like tourists and not having the safety shield of a couple of locals in tow. Eventually we happen upon a shop that appears to be run by a Chihuahua. James wants a new suit case so we walk to a shop with hundreds of suitcases stacked outside and try to ask someone the prices. The only living being on the premises is a tiny dog standing on the cases (see the pic) and seeing as we’re all feeling so soft today our hearts melt and we haggle badly, paying nearly the full asking price (also known as the tourist price to locals) to the dog’s owner who’d just showed up and walk away with a suit case covered in paw prints.
The night is spent back at the same bar as last night with a fine young lady called Trang. I think i mentioned her earlier in the diary, but if not (and for those just reading this endless droning on for the first time) then she is the up-and-coming pop sensation over in Ho Chi Minh who we played after at an impromptu in a small club. Everyone else leaves around midnight, but i stay talking to Trang at another bar sat outside. I did my best to answer her questions about the UK pop music industry but realised my knowledge of this industry is VERY rock-centric and settle into a “ask our manager, he’ll know or if not know someone who knows” answer pattern that i hope was helpful.
Basically a nice day of not doing much. As i lay down to sleep i remember to thank Tiger Beer with a tiny prayer for giving me the opportunity to call this day ‘work’.
Tomorrow we fly to Cambodia...