Jan 11, 2007
I like to go on "Super Duper Adventures" with Evan. It was late last night and I wanted to go check out a place I had read about that supposedly has the best "Creme Caramel" in town. Too bad their service stinks. Evan and I walked for about 30mins to the joint shown in this first photo and tried to buy five to go. When I asked how much I was told 18,000. I had been led to believe that they should have been 2,000 Dong each (at least that's what a couple of locals said) but the handful of 14 years olds running the place all laughed while suddenly forgetting their grasp of English in order to do a deal. Final offer from them was 18,000. A) I don't really care to be laughed at by 14 year olds. B) I don't like being taken for a fool, even if it's only 8,000 Dong extra. C) Refer back to "A". So I did an about turn and left, I'd rather go home with nothing than pay them. On the way we bumped into a little family operation that was putting together a pile of Tet Festival treats, for 2,000 Dong this little treat would satisfy Evan's Super Duper Adventure. Coloured and very sweet sticky rice kept Evan more than happy. The grandad was all smiles when he saw Evan up on my shoulders ordering one of the little sugar-bombs. He gave me a hug, shook my hand and then shoved a free-green-slab into Evan's hand. From rude 14 year olds to kind old men. What a contrast.
I also got a nice treat on the way back, freshly roasted (still warm) chestnuts. Initially the asking price was 30,000 Dong but we agreed to 10,000 Dong. Chestnuts always remind me of Christmas in England, they were just as good as I remember and really enjoyable as I haven't had them for years. This other photo is in front of a large sculpture we walked past which was situated in a bit of greenspace. When I say greenspace what I really mean is a narrow strip of grass and a large statue in-between two major roads. Right next to the statue were two small kids playing badminton without a net and about 40 older ladies doing aerobics, 80's style. It was 9:00PM, dark and it was aerobics next to hundreds of zooming motorbikes. That's Hanoi.