Hoi An shopping
Our Canadian sniffed out her fellow countryman in the bar after the floating lanterns. Andrew was a good laugh and a proper drinker and introduced us to an amazing and awfully complicated card game called Kaboo It basically involves remembering 4 cards that are face down and playing them when you can. Ultimately you have to get the lowest points possible except every now and again other players can swap your cards so you don’t know what they are. Needless to say, after a few drinks it got REALLY hard to play!
We sat in a bar across the road where you get as much alcohol as you want for free and you only have to buy the mixer! A hilarious business model! Between 4 of us we got through 3 big bottles of rum and only paid for the cokes. Altogether we spent 260,000 Dong – PMSL – which is about £12!! It was all gone in about 2 hours, mostly because of Canadian drinking games, and we were drunk and done by midnight. Waking up after that heavy night, I was surprisingly fine. We broke Camilla, but Mike and I felt great and good to go!
Into town we went under the instruction of the hostel manager. We know she was on the payroll of the tailor to send us there but there are so many tailors in Hoi An it didn’t really matter. When it comes to bartering for things and going where recommended even if they are getting their backs scratched, I’m not really bothered. I’ll barter a bit but really I know I’m very much more lucky and wealthy than these people. I’m not about to be ripped off but equally I don’t begrudge them charging reasonable money for things I want. It’s only fair to spread the wealth around a bit as long as it’s on my terms.
The tailor was great fun. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a very style conscious man. I like to look reasonable but really its a whole lot of effort I can’t be arsed with. Every now and again however, it’s nice to dress up and make an effort. I got to see the Debenhams catalogue (a weird jolt back to England and the real world) and choose my shirt style. I wanted 2 dress shirts and a fun shirt, eventually they talked me into some trousers too. I got to choose all the fabrics, something which was good fun but could turn out horrendously with my style choices haha! We will see tomorrow afternoon when I go back for fitting and alterations.
Next it was over to the tailors cobbler buddy to get some shoes. Now this is something I really needed, not just wanted. Again, I got to choose the style and leather and then show her my abnormal feet. She noticed immediately the 2 sizes difference in my feet length. I hope they end up looking right but atleast I will finally have custom made shoes that fit me properly. Lastly they had leather satchels, not something I really need but I finally had the chance to be a proper metro-sexual and match my shoes with my bag and made full use of it! I got to design the whole thing, pick the leather, move and add pockets, it will be exactly as I want it! As you can imagine, getting this service in England would cost many multiple hundreds of pounds. The 3 shirts and trowsers cost £100 and the shoes and bag were £90 The way I looked at it I would have paid min of that much for the shoes anyway so here I got a free handmade personal leather bag thrown in.
The rest of the day was spent wandering the market town, seeing all the cool architecture and discovering little roads and street foods. Again we ate rice and a collection of meats and veges. All their food is really good I am a massive fan of Vietnamese food now. Some of it is a bit spicy for me but my tolllerance has definately increased.
In the evening we had some food and then headed out to town to the only bars that stayed open later than midnight. All the Vietnamese bars and restraunts close dead on midnight. Its was a bit of a shock that the whole town just stops and sleeps pretty much immediately. We went to a dive bar where they had live music. One of the band was a vietnamese rastafarian which was a cool hippy mix of cultures. They jammed out some we known songs with a reggea edge to it as we sat in the loft room overlooking the bar. Mark, an Irish chap had joined us and we spent the night chatting away untill they closed and we moved on to the last late bar in town. “Why Not Bar” was possibly the scabbiest, scummyest bar I have ever been to if it was in England, but out here it all just sort of faded into the background and was perfect. We paid about £6 and had as many drinks as we wanted for the rest of the night. We met some guys from Chili and some girls from England and Ehad a really good laugh dancing and chatting about our travels. One of the girls had been a dancer and there was no way I was going to impress her with my disjointed limb flailing I tried to disguise as dancing. It was a proper good night out, something I have missed in a while so it was good to let go and party!