I’m just back from a one night stay in Ho Chi Minh City (henceforth HCMC to the locals). I got a call on Wednesday to go, a ticket purchased on Thursday and an on arrival visa waiting for me on Sunday when I landed. Not too shabby. Paul and I and a friend visited HCMC a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Like Bangkok there’s a grit and buzz there that Singapore doesn’t quite have. Great to visit, great to come home. One thing I had forgotten was the constant honking of horns (scooters and cars alike) that fill the air. The scooter adventures proved to be a much fun to watch as I remember. They swarm around cars like a school of fish around a shark and are fearless in their pursuit of getting to their final destination. One thing I find amusing considering how often we see them break the rules (running lights, pulling out into traffic, driving up the wrong side of the street) is hat everyone is wearing helmets. There’s a who fashion culture of scooter helmets there that no one else can touch yet. Each is unique, some brightly colored, some with fashion logos (I didn’t know YSL made scooter helmets?) but everyone has them.
It was a quick trip, but I was at the Park Hyatt near where we were last time, and I was on a mission to find a Banh Mi to bring home. The little nice lady we got the from last time was not there, but LUCKILY the next day walking back from a business meeting we passed one and I stopped all my co-workers so that I could purchase two to bring home! My boss thought I was crazy for both buying it off the street and for wanting to bring it home.
My other secret stash was to bring home (10) Bottles of Hot Chili Sauce. Yes, you read that correctly. Like BBQ sauce there are all sorts of flavors out there, and this one is delish. It’s also only available in Vietnam. So….I went to the market and got myself 10 bottles. (2) are reserved for our friend Ryan (yes, another Ryan) when he comes to visit, the rest are mine, all mine! er, ours! to enjoy. But if you find yourself in this part of the world, we could be convinced to share a little of our joy with you.