While in Vietnam:
I ate pho perched on a squat stool. A Singaporean man sitting behind us told us he wasn’t eating because he was already 105 kg.
I discovered I have very expensive tastes in (fake) designer handbags (the most expensive was a Gucci at $380).
We ate at a Vietnamese restaurant that gives an opportunity for youth from underprivileged to work and receive training. We had a marvelous set of food that included tasty eggplant.
I got hit by a bicyclist. Vietnam has a plethora of motorbikes and I somehow managed to not get hit by one. It’s less crazy than India, but still, crazy.
I navigated the Cu Chi Tunnels where the Viet Cong hid out underground for 21 years. It was a great quad work out going through those tunnels. In our tour group were five recent college graduates from London. They were a hoot.
I shot an AK-47. I used to think I was a decent shot. The AK-47 was so loud and unnerving I wasn’t quite sure what I hit.
I marveled at Vietnamese art. I love artwork. The Vietnamese are known for their lacquer wood art. It’s almost like a history lesson looking at the artwork. I love seeing the expressions on people’s faces that the artists capture.
I visited the past, the Vietnam War past. This was the hardest part of the trip, visiting the War Remnants Museum.
I tried for Texas barbeque but settled for an Australian grill. We met the owner, Bernie, and I had a panini.
I visited the Reunification Palace where Vietnam was reunified. Sat at the president’s desk in the war room. I also sang a song for the entire basement. Another highlight was learning how to play the nose whistle across from the room where all the pictures of dignitaries are displayed.
I sipped iced coffee at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and gazed at a replica of the Notre Dame cathedral. Vietnam was a colony of France for many years and its influences can still be seen. The Chinese also ruled in Vietnam. Vietnam was an interesting mixture between Chinese, French and Vietnamese culture.
I had the opportunity to drink quarts oh-so-smooth Vietnamese coffee. The Vietnamese and Turkish do coffee right. When you order, they bring a little filter apparatus and you watch your coffee brew. It’s by far the smoothest coffee I’ve had.
I bought weasel poop coffee.
I sampled wild boar and venison at a Vietnamese barbeque. I love both meats.
We wandered by mansions in the expat side of town looking for a restaurant. We asked an Australian lady in a gated community where “The Deck” was. After two more tries, we found it.
At The Deck, I talked about the future with great friends, one who is a prophet and ate an ostrich steak and black eyed peas by the peaceful Saigon river.
These are some of the memories I’ll hold on to and remember when I’m old.