I intended to wake at 5am and go to Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem lake with Tara this morning, but I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. Similarly to the Thai who practise in the early hours of the morning (Lumpini Park in Bangkok is popular), Vietnamese people get up with the sunshine and have a public workout. Maybe one day I’ll wake up early enough to watch or join in!
Instead, I “slept in” until just after 8:00, sorted breakfast and headed up to Blue Dragon. Possibly because of the inclement weather (it’s still drizzling), my usual drivers weren’t at the end of the street. After a quick wander I found another psycho with a moped and took my usual 10,000d ride up to Blue Dragon.
Today I started with a new group of three kids. With Tho’s help, we blasted through all of the previous week’s material and set them a little project for Wednesday. This means I have to get the template designs done by then. Argh.
A rather wet ride back to the hostel saw my appetite grow, so I went round the corner to the Pho Place with Brit and Kat. Two more converts who really enjoyed the soup! The afternoon was spent dotting about on the internet and then I arranged to head out for dinner with Tara as it was her last night. She picked The Tamarind, a pretty well respected veggie restaurant and we headed off.
This was a damn nice place. Comfy seating (we opted for cushions on the floor and a low table, just to be different) and spent far too long looking at the extensive menu. For a committed carnivore like me, you’d expect problems but I was struggling to choose between about six dishes, eventually plumping for the Thai green curry. Dessert was a tropical fruit crumble with ginger. Gorgeous. I pinched some of Tara’s mango wraps as well. The entire bill was a shade over 250,000d which sounds like a lot but is still less than a fiver each in real money.
Back at the hostel we met up with the new Irish arrivals. One of their friends back home had a birthday and, as proper Irish citizens, they were legally obliged to get blind drunk in honour of this occasion. Who am I to stand in the way of tradition? Back to Bia Hoi…
At 11:00, the doors closed (OK, technically the chairs were taken off the street) and we walked down to the Funky Monkey. We had the usual palaver around midnight where the music went off until the police had driven away, and we drank till 1am when the bar closed.
Two of the Paddies and an American lad who’d joined us (Ryan MacDonald – I kid you not. He should be writing thrillers with a name like that) walked back to the hostel. Tara, the remaining Irishman and I went to the bar next door to Hole-In-The-Wall (or “Inside Bar” as I think it’s properly known). Tara ordered a glass of wine as she’s not a beer person. After one sip, she popped it on the table behind her and ordered a G&T instead. Tim and I settled on Carlsberg, advertised at 15,000 a glass.
At around 5:30am (that is not a typing error), we decided that perhaps we should wander back. Today I could have gone to Tai Chi, but I don’t think I’d have been very good. The bar bill seemed somewhat inflated, in all honesty, but still so small that we simply couldn’t be bothered to make a fuss over it.
Surprisingly, the aircon was still on in the room when I got back – someone seems to have taken to switching it off and leaving the door open recently – though the door had been locked from the inside. A quick rap and a very sleepy American let me in. Funnily enough, I didn’t have too much trouble getting to sleep.