Trip Start Jun 21, 2007
20Trip End Jul 22, 2007
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I took a bus down here from Hue (everyone tells me they think it's a waste of time)
The ride was uneventful. Disembarking from the bus, we were accosted by a swarm of
touts. Three of us quickly made our way down the street - any street, saying we had
a hotel already. Once away from the crossfire, we turned to each other, introduced
ourselves and went to look for a hotel.
I found a fabulous place for $15 with a balcony looking over the street and crazy
dark carved wood furniture inside
Have you heard about Hoi An? Allow me a moment of pure materialistic indulgence... you can design your own clothes and shoes here and someone will make them for you. Did you read that? I said you can DESIGN YOUR OWN CLOTHES AND SHOES HERE!!! As many of you know, I am not much of a clothes shopper but this place has got me a little crazy (poor Troy). I feel like a fabulous designer with no ideas for fabulous designs! I feel like the
world of fashion coolness is at my fingertips but my brain is too overwhelmed with
possibilities to be of any use.
Did I mention that you can make your own shoes? I found a pair of sneakers I liked and completely reworked them, adding color and a lizard design for ultimate hipness. You'll see. I want to design about 20 more pairs but I don't need that many shoes. I cannot explain the euphoria you experience when you design something and see it come to fruition. It's a dream come true - LITERALLY
So Troy arrived to a massive downpour - the first I'd seen here. We watched from the balcony, then put on our raingear and headed out to check out the town. We splashed our way through the narrow streets, which are catered to clothing buyers of all nations: "You buy now! Good price! Other place bad! I make nice for you!" Tall tall Troy ducked under the tarpaulin at the market, as a gaggle of Vietnamese women babbled about Vietnamese market events and "Manny cue! You want manny cue peddy cue one dollah!"
Okay, this may sound wrong, but I have this Viet-english running through my head constantly now, with the manny cue and the good price you buy now and the it nice for you come inside. I make me understood big time talk that way...
Troy's excellent responses so far, when touts try to get his attention:
Tout 1: Motobike? You take motobike?
Troy: Motorbike scary! I'm scared.
Tout 2: Motobike? You take ride?
Troy: I can buy it?
Tout 2(smiling): Yes
Troy: I pay $10 for bike? I keep it?
Tout 2: (smiles. Walks away.)
Tout: Motobike? Bicycle? You ride?
Troy: My butt hurts!
Later we walked in and got Troy some pants. His idea, I swear. Then off to get shirts and a coat... the coat was my idea, Troy reminds me. Yes it was. It looks good! He got to design it! Poor Troy.
The next day was more of the same same but different. Too much shopping. You like. We tired long time walking. We found a Japanese bridge. We were invited into an old man's house that had been in his family for 2 centuries. This family is also known for making a local food only available here, called a white rose. We followed a toddler back to the kitchen where women were sitting around making this delicacy. They invited us to sit down and enjoy a serving. It was delicious! The little girl was enamoured with Troy and kept poking him and laughing. Other tourists came and went as we waited for our white roses. I wonder what it would be like to live somewhere where tourists tramped through all day.
This town is gorgeous and small with streets without traffic, a small river beautifully lit at night by multicolored paper lanterns and stores galores. It's a lovely place to relax after the hustle of Hue and Hanoi. The pace is slower. The prices are lower. You can walk everywhere as the touts plead , not taking no for an answer. I don't know what I did before Troy arrived. He makes it hilarious.