Today has been a very busy, tiring and very expensive day.
Having got up at a usual time, we headed to Ti Na’s for a fitting on the dresses Gen had ordered and also my jacket. They were looking really good, just a few nip and tucks here and there and they would be great. After trying a winter coat on in 30+ degrees you soon get warm so we headed into the old quarter for a cold drink. We then went shopping for a few things we fancied which we’d seen earlier on yesterday. Vietnam sells alot of lacquered goods all of which look really nice so it was time to whip out the hard bartering techniques.
Upsetting a good few store owners by telling them they were very expensive and walking away, we eventually agreed a fair price for both of us. Having bought loads of really nice things, we realised that they were all quite heavy and bulky and that we’d have to carry them about for the next 10 days. Never mind I guess.
We then headed to A Dong Silk where Gen was getting a dress made and my suits were being made. They were looking great although one of my suits wasn’t how I wanted it to be and so told them I wanted the lapels smaller, the threading different, the arm length shorter (as i’ve realised I have one arm nearly an inch longer than the other) and a few other things I wanted changing. There were alot of pins and chalk lines in my jacket by the time i’d finished changing things and I’m sure I was really begining to piss the tailor off as he had a really grumpy look on his face and they all kept complaining about how much more work I wanted them to do by tomorrow lunchtime. As much as I understood what they were saying I wasn’t that bothered. I was paying a lot of money for these suits in Vietnamese terms and compared to a lot of other shops in town so i wanted it perfect.
Eventually it was all agreed to be done by 10am tomorrow so we shall see what the end result is like then.
A revisit to Ti Na’s was next on the cards to pick up the finished goods. Everything looked nice and fitted well and we were happy with it so all was good. Even if we did have to wait a while because the girl bringing it from the tailors on her moto had run out of fuel and was pushing it the last half a kilometre!!!
Earlier on we’d noticed the river had dropped enough for you to be able to walk down the front now so we went for a wander to see what was going on there. Much the same as the rest of town there were a lot of nice looking shops and cafes on the river bank and lots of fishing boats. There also seemed to be some kind of ferry system connecting the island accross the river and I can tell you I don’t think i’ve ever seen so many people, moto’s and bycicles fit onto one small boat in my entire life.
We then headed to the Hai Cafe where we’d eaten the night before and were going to eat again only this time we’d be preparing and cooking ourselves. On our cooking course we made, BBQ’d marinated beef green papaya salad, fried shrimp spring rolls and some kind of fish dish which I forget. It was all very tasty and it tasted even better knowing we’d made it ourselves.
Washed down with a few beers we then headed back to the hotel to pack and re pack and re pack again until we could get it all to fit in our bags…. Not sure it’s going to work