a little bit of silliness....click on the picture to create a fly for it to eat....

Friday, November 26, 2010

A day of extremes...

Rocky...my mate
Today was one of extremes of feeling about being here.  I started the day so frustrated I cried about the greed of Customs wanting to gouge a charity.  Then as the day wore on and I spent a little time with the trainees, with Rocky and with the staff here my mood lightened. 
This evening David and Amanda kindly invited Jonny and myself to join them at the night markets in the city.  We stopped for a bite to eat before hitting the stretch of well lit stalls that comprise the night market.  While chowing down on our steak sandwiches 'Hanoi style' a doughnut seller came to spruik her wares.  She caught sight of Amanda and immediately they struck up a conversation.  When she had gone I asked Amanda if the woman had some connection to Koto...but no, she had simply remembered Amanda from the previous times Amanda and David had bought from her.  It wasn't just sales flannel either because she commented on how much Amanda's hair had grown...now that is customer care!

70 seats turned over roughly every 1/2 hour during the evening is a lot of food to come out of this kitchen.

After our tasty dinner David and I calculated that they must turn over something in the region of 500covers a night!  For dessert we went for a Papparoti - 'the father of all buns!'  There is a chain of these hole in the wall  bakeries producing only one item.  A sweet bun with a crunchy sweet coating and a buttery filling.  Virtually all the buns are sold before they even go in the oven.  People queue up and wait till they are cooked then pay quickly and grab the nearest paper bag of heaven!!  We enjoyed ours then sauntered off down into the market. 

At one point Amanda complained to me that a woman had pushed her at least four times.  As she told me this the woman rushed past us, pushing a small child over in her haste. Vietnamese don't have much use for personal space but to push a kid over was extreme so we decided she was just a cow!   It wasn't till later on when going to pay for something in a shop that we discovered what had actually happened.  The woman had slashed Amanda's bag open down the side with what must have been a razor or scalpel and stolen her purse.  How she got just the purse in amongst all the books, clothing and sundry other essentials is beyond comprehension.  What a shock!  So she'd obviously been legging it after finally grabbing the wallet and the child was collateral damage.  After getting over the disbelief we found a police station and Amanda made her incident report to a very helpful young policeman.  She knows that nothing can or will be done but a report must be made.  Interestingly enough the hotel receptionist the police used as a translator told us that the night markets were a hot spot for theives, but Amanda thought she was doing the right thing by having the bag zipped up and held close to her body. 

The razor cut down the side of Amanda's bag

Obviously the thieving little buggers have figured out a way to get around that - they just slashed though the side!  I'm just glad they didn't slash my friend...better her bag than her skin.  It certainly put a damper on what had been a lovely evening...buggerit.
But we are going to visit the Perfume Pagoda tomorrow so will make an offering and pray for some good karma.

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