Monday, March 23, 2009

This is an E-mail I sent 2/16/09

We are in Nha Trang, a fishing port known to have "best beaches in VN" The place is crawling w/ gringos from all over the world. A polish girl is sitting next to me in the internet section of the Hotel., Golden Hotel (maybe you can google it.)
$25 per nite w/ brkfst. AC is good. Went out to eat in a seafood restaurant and had the best breaded deep fried fish chunks I ever had in my life. The hot pot w/ crab, shrimp, fish and clams was very tasty. Mike and I dined like kings for $12.
The place was called simply Nha Trang Seafood It was recommended to us by the receptionist at the hotel. When we got there we saw several waitresses standing around and only 2 English patrons in the dining room. We thought, "Where are all the Vietnamese? We got a bum steer on this place, so we left. As we rounded the corner we saw the outdoor eating courtyard was full of Vietnamese chowing down. So we went back and are so glad we did.

OK, here is and interesting story for you.

Last nite we went to the VN version of Walmart as I lost my pocket knife.
In Can Tho (a city of 2 million) was a 3 story store with grocery store taking up the whole first level. It was JAMMED with people. LOUD and bustling. Imagine Safeway selling food at 90% off. It was amazing, You could buy Oral B tooth brushes, Huggies, Palmolive etc. Also lots of Go to ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost (in your home directory library). Remove any files titled Restart iTunes and acknowledge the agreement.
ietnamese domestic goods. All the aisles were labeled in Vietnamese, and English 2ndarily, much the same as Home Depot in Eng And Spanish. Small children loved saying "Hello" Any body who spoke any English wanted to say "Hello, how do you do? where are you from?" etc.
One Mother carrying a 5-6 year old maneuverd herself to cross our path as her little one was excitedly squirming in her mother's arms, working herself up for the big "HELLO!" and then buried her face in Mom's shoulder, then popped back around wearing a huge smile and waving "Hello" again. Mom seemed breathlessly excited too. This happened over and over. Mostly youngsters, but adults too. One 20 something corralled Mike and held on to his arm while speaking pretty good English, asking "Where you from? " etc.
As we moved around the store you could see people talking and looking at us. Some would bend over and whisper to their kids and all that would produce another "Hello!" and a big smile. It was a riot!! I gave 'em a big grin and said "Hello" back. I walked behind Mike sometimes and the gawkers didn't notice me observing them. Seriously, you would think Brad Pitt was strolling thru the place.
Next we went across the street to a big modern electronics store. The hustle and bustle was gone , but the celebrity status of the visitors was still in evidence., The staff was trying to be cool, but you could see them whispering with eyes glued to the oddball alien invaders.
Most things are cheaper in VN but a microwave we would pay $60 for was $130. A small reefer was 600 bucks

I'm up past my bedtime. I'll try to find a way to send some photos. The floating market in Can Tho was fantastic.


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