In and out in Saigon

Having a very lazy day today after celebrating Cinco de Mayo last night. Apparently it’s as big as St Patrick’s Day in the US. I hadn’t really heard of it before but if someone tells me tequila shots are $2 it doesn’t really matter what we’re celebrating. Oh, and when I say ‘shot’ I really mean a small glass of tequila (unfortunately for me now).

Saigon is officially made for those who like to indulge in the dark of the night. For one thing, the temperature drops so that it’s actually bearable and there is no need to take a coat- ever. Add to that the ridiculously cheap drinks and plethora of bars and you have no excuse to stay home. Happy hours here often last for most of the night and some bars just flag the trouble and give away their booze. Seriously. A decent club here (Lush) puts on ‘ladies night’ each Tuesday where the drinks are free for women between 10 and 12. Back home, ladies night might equate to a free plate of chips with your wine.

In saying that however, we are still on the hunt for a local. I do miss the bars back home in New Zealand a bit. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is I’m missing…actually I can think of a couple things- wine that doesn’t taste like it’s made from damp socks and music that existed prior to 2011. Still, we will make do with our $3 – $5 cocktails at rooftop bars overlooking the madness that is this city.

Post night life is also pretty sweet here in Saigon. If there’s one thing I can say about Vietnam it’s that you will never go hungry. Literally every street will have at least one (probably more like ten) street vendors selling ideal hangover remedies such as chilled tropical fruit, fried egg sandwiches and Pho. I’m now also addicted to drinking coconuts- the water is supposed to have healing properties and rehydrates you really well in the heat.

Speaking of heat – that’s probably the one thing that makes the day after that much more difficult here. When the sun’s out back home, everyone floods to the beach to soak it up. Here, everyone turns into a recluse, taking shelter in the aircon and watching telly…which is what my day has consisted of today.

So after a very productive weekend of teaching I think I deserved today. Thanks again Saigon for being nice to me when I’m not feeling my best- the crab noodle soup was a lifesaver today.

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