Tuesday, March 12, 2013
We grab a cab and head to a more lively part of the city. Even at 5 am, few shops are beginning to open, Pho is being served and is that coffee I smell??!! We duck into a place my traveling mates only know as "Mama's house," but I can only imagine this Pho cafe has a lovely Vietnamese name. Finally, the moment I've been holding my breath for! Actual Vietnamese food and Pho! Back home I easily spend 10$ for a bowl of these magical rice noodles, bean sprouts, lime and cilantro and now I can have it for 2$. Both delicious and economical!Mama is an amazing cook and extremely hospitable. She figures out the wifi for me on my phone and when I spend to much time on the interwebs and not enough on my soup, she pantomimes to my phone down and scolds me in Vietnamese to eat my soup. After my internet and Pho indulgence, she brings me the most fabulous and strong cup of coffee, necessary to be awake at 5 am.
The more we stroll, the more people fill the streets. The park near the lake becomes a recreational circus with older people dancing, younger people stretching, and strange people doing a bunch of weird exercises. Motorbikes angrily rampage the streets as if waking up from months of cave hibernation. Dodging them is a true art. There really are no little green men lighting up the cross walk telling you to follow them, assuring you its okay and promising you the world on the other side. You really just have to time accordingly, hold your breath and make a run for it while bobbing and weaving.
We follow our feet into a busy corner where the foreigners seem to be multiplying, I can only guess that we have stumbled into some sort of tourist breeding ground and a new litter may hatch at any moment, we must find that nest. The streets are littered with t-shirt stalls and other kitschy "Vietnamese" wares. Ladies selling fruit and other things while performing a very tricky scheme to get you to buy there crap. If they put it on you, it's yours, give me money. Genius.
Managing to escape these fruit cons with only a bag of pineapple, we land in our next guilty pleasure eatery...