Katja and Arne's travel stories

08.01.15 Last full day in Hoi An

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We start the day by putting on trainers, rain jackets and head out the door. It’s been raining tonight, but hopefully the rest of the day will be good.
We walk for about forty minutes and see other parts of Hoi An than the mainstream tourist streets. There are still manual labor in the vegetable fields, monks preparing for prayers in the monastery, old ladies setting up shop in the street, and an enormous amount of people eating breakfast at the street food stalls.

After a little training session in the room we head down for breakfast. Nothing beats eggs and bacon on a cloudy and grey morning or on a morning with sunshine, our snow, our rain, or….I guess any and all mornings are better with eggs and bacon.
We order train tickets before leaving the hotel. Guess what? We should have done it earlier, there are no soft sleeping beds on the night train, only hard ones. Guess that means sleeping on a wooden bench for 8 hours. If it’s even possible to sleep. Time will tell.
On our way back to Katja’s tailor we walk along the roads and look at the shops. It’s incredible how many there are of each souvernir object. Each shop contains at least a hundred different models, and a vast number of each. Is it even possible that all this will be sold? Regardless of the time? I have no idea, but find it curious that so few try to separate their shop from the herd and do something a little original.
After trying the dress again we request the final(?) adjustments and head down to get some tea. On the way we pass on another of the old houses in town and we go in. This time it’s an old chapel door worshipping ancestors. We get a guided “tour” in the building and learn a few things about architecture of the old Vietnam, handling of the dead and yin/yang use of coins to make your wish come true. We all tried the toss off the coins and all made the combination within the maximum of three tosses, so all our wishes will come true.

It was a nice place, but it fell a bit apart when we were guided into the back rooms where all the same tourist stuff was for sale. Why not at least do just a few things and make it look more authentic?

Me buying a Tiger Balm from a blind one legged man. He didn't beg, he sold tiger balm. He dealt with what life have given him, and he earned my respect for that.

Me buying a Tiger Balm from a blind one legged man. He didn’t beg, he sold tiger balm. He dealt with what life have given him, and he earned my respect for that.

Now, finally, we moved down to the tea house. The place is part of “Reaching out”, an organization for the less privileged. It’s served by people with speech and hearing impairment and it’s a quiet and tranquil place. They have small blocks with three most common orders, as well as a written ordering system. The house is built on old traditional Vietnamese style and is furnished with antiquities. We love the tea and enjoyed an hour of slow and (relatively) silent contemplation.

Next up we just walk and talk in the streets. Look at this, check out that.
When it’s lunch time I vote for pizza. Shouldn’t have done that. There are several places here offering pizza from wood fired ovens, and that should at least count for something. It didn’t. The place bragged to have the best pizza in town. If it’s true I really pity this town.
From there we went back up to pick up Mette’s kimono and Katja’s dress. Final alterations is a success and we can all breath slowly again. Another slow walk and we move back to the hotel. It’s cloudy, a bit of rain in the air and cozy in the hotel room. We spend a couple of hours there before heading back out for dinner. We walk to a place we have passed several times and has always looked nice. We were not disappointed. The place is called Mia Fish after the owners daughters love of fish. The snapper fillet wet got was superb and we enjoyed dinner and some fresh juice.

We took a walk after dinner and found the city quite silent and calm compared to the other nights. Turns out the full moon brings more people in to town. We were lucky to be here during the three days of the full moon, as all the lights are on in the city then. Seems to be the right time to visit this city. So we made a mental note to self: Make a note of the full moon dates and check if there are anything happening where we’re gonna be.
After the walk we enjoyed the fancy room for the last evening.  Tomorrow we go to Da Nang.

Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you’re a consultant.

– Scott Adams

Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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