Day 2 in Vietnam...shopping!
We woke up early this morning and had breakfast at a small restaurant next door to our hotel. I had the most amazing cup of coffee I've ever had in my life. It had its own miniature coffee maker on top: the grounds were in a small container on top of the mug with a little bit of water...thus making the coffee also the STRONGEST I've ever had in my life! I had a banana pancake for breakfast...two huge crepes with unbelievably fresh bananas in between. Quite an amazing first Vietnamese meal, I would say.
Walking to the market after breakfast was an experience in itself. Hopefully I can get some pictures up, because there is really no way to explain the streets...motorcycles going every which way, crossing the street is quite an event! Dr. Murray said there are about 10 million people here in Ho Chi Minh City, and I totally believe it. Everyone here dresses nearly head-to-toe covered up, even though it feels like it's about 90 degrees outside. People try to sell you things a lot, but if you say no, they don't bother you any more. They seem to be very hardworking, but I saw a lot of smiling faces, too.
The walk to the market was short, and we saw a lot of Vietnamese architecture on the way. It is dirty here, like you would expect for any big city, but there are some really pleasant park areas, where we saw a bunch of Asian school children taking their morning break. We didn't get hit by any vans or motorcycles and arrived at the market at about 9:30am. There were already stalls everywhere selling everything you can imagine. It was incredible...clothes, shoes, hats, souveniers, live fish, all kinds of eggs, meats (intestines and pig ears...I had to look away :) but the most incredible looking food I have ever seen. I can't wait to try these huges fruits covered in spikes that I see everywhere! Some of the girls even got pedicures right there in the market--for only $2! The goods here are incredibly cheap. And I got some haggling practice inAs far as the shopping goes, I won't divulge too much here, but let's just saw Sophia and I have our Christmas shopping all done. :)
Right now it's about noon and we're waiting for our bus to take us to the airport so that we can fly to Hue. I've seen so much Vietnamese culture already...its amazing how a few hours can bring so many new sights, as cliched as that sounds. I love the city, but I can't wait to get out and see the countryside. Seeing the schoolchildren today made me really excited to visit the orphanage.
Can't wait to tell you more...hope everyone is doing well!