Dec 25, 2006

Arriving in Hoi An

A 45min ride out to the airport and we were ready to hop onto our Vietnam Airlines flight, which would only take us one hour of flight time from Cam Rahn Bay to Danang. I know people complain about airline food but honestly that box lunch you see in the photo now holds the unique distinction of "The worst sandwich on a commercial airline flight - ever". I have to define it as the worst "commercial" flight sandwich because I've eaten worse sandwiches on military flights; I still laugh at the sandwich contained in a boxed lunch I was handed as I loading on to a Hercules CC130 taking us for a mass parachute drop. The sandwich was made up of two soggy slices of white bread and the sandwich filling was a thin layer of butter and nothing else. Mmmmm, mmmmm, good. I'm not sure if this is a photo of Keegan before or after the Vietnam Airlines sandwich. ;-)

Unlike our Saigon hotel, the Hoi An hotel had someone at the airport to pick us up. The drive took about 45mins and when we arrived we learned the people who should have checked out of the room we had reserved, had extended another night (which is quite typical). We were moved into the best room in the hotel for one night (for a small additional charge) until a room cleared up for us the following day. It was a pretty sweet pad! The hotel we booked at in Hoi An is "Thien Thanh" and I knew we had made the right hotel decision after we switched rooms the next day. Our second room didn't have a kettle in it and wanting to brew our own coffee I went downstairs to inquire about the chances of borrowing a kettle or asking for hot water every now and then. I got hot water right away in a big thermos and within an hour there was a brand new kettle, still in the box delivered to the room, I saw several other brand new kettle's being brought into the lobby presumably for the other rooms as well. Nice! We were already starting to feel the Thien Thanh love - more on that to follow.

We decided to go on a walk around town. Looking for off the beaten path back alleys and such. We were down our first alley when a young man came out of his house and in true Vietnamese style crouched down and started hugging the boys and wanting to pick them up to show the others in the house. We said ok and thus began the mini-cookie adventure. As it turns out, the house also doubled as a very small cookie production facility. Everything from goods receiving, mixing, cooking, shaping, baking and packaging - all happening inside a very small living room area. Shortly after leaving the house we saw the packaged cookies at every street side market or stall. "Bong". Classic. The boys left with fistfulls of cookies, we had to walk out backwards repeating... no, thank you, really, that's enough, you are very generous but no more please, thank you, you are very kind, thank you, no really, thank you etc, etc, all the time smiling and waving and watching the boys cram yet more cookies in their mouths. If you slowed down too much cookies got put in their pockets. So generous.

Well, more Hoi An blogging tomorrow I hope, there are so many little stories to tell about this town. Good night and Merry Christmas.


jack said...

Hi again! Merry Christmas to you & Your family.I may have forgotten to include this link on a previous comment viewcard.asp?code=1017129949136
Cheers,stay safe
ps had trouble posting this - hope it didn't show up 4 times

Connie said...

Merry Christmas! Hope you all enjoy a unique holiday & New Year, I'm sure it will be one of your most memorable.....
Connie & company

Kelly & Lisa said...

Doreen & Shaun-

It's been great to read about your adventures in Vietnam! Given the amazing affection shown to Keegan and Evan, perhaps you'll let us borrow them when we travel through Asia Fall '07. Keep up the great photos and journal.

Kelly ("sugar") & Lisa