Woke up in early morning in Ho Chi Minh city, I looked out of the window of my hotel and found out that it was raining. I opened the door but I had to close it immediately because the wind was so strong that it blew some papers on the table. It was my second day in Ho Chi Minh city and it seemed a blue day. It was a little cold, so I choose a warm rice noodle soup at the restaurant in the hotel. The dish was called Hue Noodle Soup, which was delicious. Compared to Pho and Crab Noodle Soup I’ve tasted before, the rice noodle is thicker. The savor came from the mix of salty, sour, spicy and sweet flavors, the predominant flavor of lemongrass and shrimp paste. I was satisfied with the dish and I felt refresh after finish the big bowl of this kind of noodle.
My old friend Tony, who was living in Ho Chi Minh city, called me and told me that he would come to the hotel soon to pick me up, then he would drive me around the city. I looked out of the window and realized that the rain had stopped.
After 20 minutes, I was on Tony’s motorbike and enjoy the nice view of the city after morning rain. The street was wet and ether was everything on the street from street vendors, motorbike taxi drivers, street food stalls and drink stall… There was still water on the street because the water system in Ho Chi Minh City wasn’t very good. Tony drove me to a hidden corner in a small alley where I could see a vendor was cleaning plastic tables and chairs. Tony ordered two glasses of hot coffee. I was surprised by many kinds of sound while sipping coffee. A woman was sweeping water out of the house. Tony told me that the house was too old and water leaked in their house. A man was hanging wet clothes, an old woman was cooking in front of the house, a boy was running and screaming around the narrow yard. A man drove a motorbike into the alley and stop at a very small convenience store to buy a plastic bag of sugar and canned fish. The life was calm and it was different from noisy things on main roads.
We then hopped on the bike and continue the Saigon motorbike trip. It suddenly rained and we have to stop at an old book store. There were hundreds of old books, some were published 50 years ago. The owner was sitting on a small wooden chair and enjoying tea. She couldn’t speak English and Tony didn’t speak Vietnamese well, so that we only said hello and walk around the small space to find some books in English. The rain was getting lighter, we couldn’t stay there more, Tony told me that we had to wear the rain coat.
…to be continued
Maria Jade, 12 September 2015
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