We’re back in tourist mode after we got the “finding our old sites” out of our systems. Our Hotel, the Sea Phoenix Hotel, is very comfortable and situated in a nice area. So today we decided to visit An Hoi for real to see what it’s all about. The hotel had a shuttle that took us down there and arranged to pick us up at a certain time and we were off.
Our first order of business was to figure out where we were so we could find our way back to the shuttle. The guide book wasn’t really much help because all it showed was a detailed map of the very center of the town but after some pointing and grunting, we learned that we were very close to the tourist center and just off the tour guide map. On the way, Jim got a lesson on how to carry produce Vietnam style and I got a few fresh Mangosteens and Rambutans on the condition that Mamasan showed me how to peel the damn things.
On one of our “shade breaks” sitting in the shade and out of the direct sun, Jim noticed a Greek restaurant and we decided that was where we would eat lunch. We walked around the town for a while. It was pretty but crowded with tourists.
We stopped at one place and decided to have a cold drink. I am becoming a very big fan of Vietnamese coffee. I find I like it both hot or iced. While we sat there in the shade with a nice breeze blowing a cute kid came by selling trash and trinkets. I was predisposed not to buy anything but this kid was so cute (I should have taken her picture) that I couldn’t resist. She asked us to help her be lucky and be her first customers for the day. When I bought a few things from her she was smiling ear to ear and rubbed my belly thanking me for helping her be lucky. A few minutes later we overheard her asking a nice European lady to help her be lucky and be her first customer. I don’t think she rubbed the lady’s belly though.
We stopped at one place and this sign caught my attention. It dawned on me that given the misery Agent Orange has caused American Veterans who were exposed to this stuff for a year or so, it must be a major health problem here where they had to live in it after we left.
We stopped and had our Greek lunch, which was very good, and we found our way back to our bus. Incidentally, Jim is not trying to look pensive in this picture. I just caught him while he was looking at the lighting fixtures.
We got back to the hotel and spent some time sitting on the roof and drinking Gin and Tonic. Life is good!