Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 14: Hoi An Day 1

Our night train was supposed to arrive at 10 a.m. but of course it was 11:15 before we got there. We got on a private bus and drove the half hour to our hotel, which thankfully was ready for us to check in. The last shower being in a crummy pool shower we immediately hopped in and washed the stink off ourselves.

We then departed for the most traditional food I expect to eat on our journey. Traditional, in this instance, being code word for unhygienic. We handmade our own spring rolls out of sheets of rice paper, veggies, fried shrimp, pork and chicken. They were quite tasty, especially the mysterious dipping sauce that came with it. The unhygienic part being that the server ladies would grab sheets of rice paper - rice paper we would later eat - and repeatedly show us how to stuff and roll it. I don't know why I ate the rolls that came from their questionably clean hands (I didn't want to be rude) but I would pay for this decision later. Pay dearly, if you catch my drift.

Hoi An is the hottest and most humid place we have been so far. After lunch we could literally do nothing else but drag ourselves back to the hotel and lay in the air conditioned room. Mid-day is not the time to do stuff, that is for sure. I am proud to report that I did not nap, but Marv crashed like the dead.

Once 5 p.m. hit we thought it would be a reasonable temperature so we headed out to explore the town. We sat at a river side restaurant and enjoyed some frufru, non-alcoholic drinks, which I have declared to be my "new thing". They make a lot of shakes and juices from exotic things here and I rarely pass up the chance to drink something tasty. Drinking calories is a great idea, on vacation only.

Hoi An's main industry is tourism or, more specifically, hundreds and hundreds of tailor shops that hand make any and everything a westerner could want. A few of the girls on our tour went buck wild, paying less than $200 for a ton of custom made clothing.

So, when dying of heat and humidity, what is at the forefront of my mind to purchase? A winter jacket, of course!

Many of the tailor shops have winter jackets on display and my old jacket, Isaac Mizrahi for Target ($30 on clearance, thankyouverymuch) is in dire need of replacement. I figured buying a jacket in the UK would be a very pricey affair, and I won't be back to the US during winter coat selling season, so this is my opportunity.

A few minutes of flipping through pictures, some quick measurements, and choosing the fabric colors and I was out of there in 10 minutes. I was even able to pay using my debt card - the ridiculously fab price of $45. Not as cheap as my Target jacket but this one is handmade just for me. It feels so extravagant! I am beyond excited to get my jacket - ready for pick up 17 hours after I placed the order.

Since we don't have to travel tomorrow we decided to hit the town hard. It was also our last night with our amazing new British friend David (you may remember him vomiting on the side of the road in the outskirts of Bangkok) so we had to see him off properly.

For my WeFest ladies: There was a group of people at the bar (British I assume - 90% of tourists seem to be British) playing Zumi Zumi! I interrupted their game screaming "I can't believe you guys know Zumi Zumi!" It made me smile and retell stories of our WeFesting days.

This was the kind of place that encourages graffiti on the walls, so I had to represent:

I'd love to know if any other upper Dakota natives have patronized this place before.

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