Saigon is a lot like a modern American city. The bikers and drivers seemed more aggressive there, so we really had to be on our toes on the streets and sidewalks. And it was hot, unbelievably hot.
The scheduled activities were focused around the history of the American War. Karel and I opted out. We are peaceniks from head to toe, and the awful events of recent decades are not what we want to dwell upon during our honeymoon. We went to the zoo, instead, and saw tigers and crocodiles. For lunch, we found a nice French créperie and, because Saigon (no one seems to call it Ho Chi Minh City) is an international metropolis with a history of French colonialism, deemed it authentic and local and treated ourselves to some continental cuisine.
For dinner the next evening we sought out the most highly rated Pho restaurant in Vietnam, and were disappointed with the bland food. I noted that most of the customers were foreigners. Hmmm. For dessert, we decided to comfort ourselves with some real ice cream—quite a luxury item in this part of the world—and headed to a place called Fanny. It was spectacular! The best ice cream in Asia, served up as a fantastic little work of art. The place, despite the fact that it clearly pandered to tourists, was packed with locals. Hmmm.
While we were enjoying our delectable treats, I started reading the nearby community bulletin board. It was full of notices for club meetings for all kinds of things: the horseback riding club, a mahjong group, a scrabble club, a book club, etc. Wow, I thought, if I wanted to live here, my social life would be set! Then it dawned on me that all the notices were in French … which suggests that the socializing is, likewise, in French. Hmmm. I really had to laugh at myself. After a month of seeing nothing but Balinese, Thai, Laotian, and Vietnamese, French looked downright familiar! Alas, my ability to read it—at about the first grade level—is far superior to my ability to speak it.This entry was posted in Honeymoon 2013