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Published: February 17th 2009
This was not my first visit. In fact I had been there two times previously. The first time was about a year ago when I visited the city as a tourist. To be honest, there is not much interesting to see and do in Saigon. You can see the historic buildings, museums, markets, temples and other tourist sights by doing a city tour in a single day. Most things are neither interesting nor impressive. There are several day trips available from the city that are somewhat interesting, but hardly “must sees.”
Although I was only there a few days, the city set its hooks in me. Actually, it was not the city, but it was the city's people. Vietnam is a very poor country, but the people are friendly, hard working, and happy. They will have a party for any reason. My enchantment with the city comes from the chaos, the street life, the food. But mostly the people. Saigon is a people watcher's city. It has a half dozen cafes on every block with tables on the sidewalk.
In Saigon you can buy anything you want on the street. While sitting in a sidewalk cafe in the backpacker
district you will be offered all kinds of food, fruits, toilet articles, pens, calculators, lighters, sun glasses (even if you are wearing a pair at the time), mops, brooms, toys, pirated CDs and DVD, woven hammocks, clothing, shoes, fake Rolexes and other jewelry, war relics, fried sweet breads, ice cream, cakes of sticky rice, and on and on.
One of the first persons I met in Saigon was Loan, a bookseller. She was a tiny little girl, under five feet tall and barely weighing in at 100 pounds. She carried a 4 foot tall stack of bootleg books bound together with elastic straps. Their titles faced the customers she passed as she walked the street. "Buy a book?" "Sorry, no money." "You're a goddamn liar. Fuck shit you." I was in love.
Loan was very thin, very muscular and spoke good English. Her face was very cute, but starting to show signs of age. I found out later she was 37. She had minor dental challenges as do most people over 30 in Vietnam. Nutrition has improved greatly in recent years. The young people have good teeth. I asked her if she liked to read, she told me
I ended up going out with her a few times. She spoke good English had a good sense of humor. One night I suggested inviting her children to have dinner with us. She showed up with 13 family members. All 14 of us ate for less than 30.00 USD. A few days later she and I took a 4 day trip to the beach at Nha Trang which was fun. She had a friend there and they shopped together all day while I sat on the beach looking at topless Australian sunbathers. Her 3 days of shopping cost me less than 100.00 USD. My bar tab at the beach was close to that. But I was put off by her constantly asking me for money or to buy her things. I am a soft touch, so I pretty much gave her what she asked, but explained that I did not like it. I told her it made me think I was no more than an ATM to her. She was a poor street person. She did what she could to make a living. I can not begrudge her that. If I was her ATM, so be it. She
was still good company.
One night I was playing pool at the Go2 cafe when Thanh came in and put her name on the chalk board to play. She was good. She beat most everyone. She beat me so badly, I was embarrassed to play her any more. I sat and watched her play game after game until she finally lost. When she lost she immediately put her name back on the board and was soon playing again.
Thanh was a short girl with a very cute face and an unusually voluptuous figure. In other words, she had big tits and usually didn’t wear a bra. We spoke a few words in passing, but she was the center of attention and we didn’t get friendly. I left about 11:00. The cafe and the pool table were still going strong. Thanh was kicking ass.
A couple of nights later I returned to Go2 after I had a date which ended early. Thanh was there again. We spoke a bit. I watched her play a few games of pool, but did not challenge her. In fact I bet a few backpackers 100,000 dong (about 6. USD) that she would
win her game. I won 7 times and lost once. Thanh got wind of my wagering and let me know she didn’t like it, so I stopped.
I left the cafe about 01:00. As I was walking along the street I realized Thanh was following me. I told her she couldn’t come with me (I had gotten laid earlier), but would see her tomorrow.
The next night I met up with Thanh at Go2. Reluctantly I played a game of pool with her at which she humiliated me. Then I sat and watched her play several games, winning most every one. Between shots she came to my stool and wedged herself between my legs. I must say I was flattered.
Thanh had a unique shot that for which she was locally known. She was a short girl and often couldn’t reach the cue ball with the stick. Most people use a bridge in this situation. Thanh held the end of the cue in one hand and hit the ball without using a bridge or her other hand. She was remarkably accurate.
That night Thanh accompanied me back to my guest house. She turned in her ID
at the desk and followed me up to the room. As soon as we got to the room she removed her shirt and shorts and walked around in her panties only. She was completely uninhibited. We talked and drank a beer, then got into the shower. She gave me a good scrubbing the sent me out while she washed herself. The evening ended well.
One afternoon it rained unusually hard. It rained most every afternoon, but this day was much more than usual. After the rain ended I was walking back to my guest house when I was confronted by a flooded street. I had sores from blisters on my feet so I didn’t want to walk through the dirty water. To walk around the flood would involve a several block detour. It was then I met Lynh.
She appeared beside me and said she would show me through the alleys and around the flood. I was a little apprehensive, but she looked OK, and me feet hurt too much to walk 4 or 5 blocks, the way I knew.
We got through the alley with no problem. I thanked her and and headed to the guest
house. She followed. At the end of the alley where my guest house was located, I saw Thanh sitting with some friends. When Lynh saw Thanh she broke off immediately and headed away.
A few days later I was having a bowl of pho at the corner cafe when Lynh came into view. I invited her to sit down and asked her if asked would like a bowl of soup. She said yes.
After eating we took a walk together. She stopped in a CD store and started browsing. She pulled out several dozen CDs, placing them in various stacks. She asked the owner to play a few. She shifted CDs from stack to stack. I got a little nervous. I thought she might try to steal some, so I left.
Later the same day I ran into her again. We sat down and had a beer, then another, then another. She drank beer straight from the bottle. She poured it into her mouth without allowing the bottle to touch her lips. Soon she showed signs of intoxication. I asked her where she lived and offered to pay for a cyclo to get home. She refused to
We had a couple more beers and she became completely drunk. She was making a scene, so I left. She followed me until I came to the Natural Cafe where Thanh was waiting. She turned into the nearby alley. They last time I saw her she was puking her guts out in that alley.
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