Before we left for Vietnam, Jared mentioned that he wanted to have a suit tailor made. I didn’t think much of it, and didn’t plan to have anything done myself.
That was until we arrived in Hoi An. We stayed at the Nhi Trung Hotel. There was a balcony in our room and fantastic free breakfasts, which made it a five star establishment in my book. Staying here also entitled us to a 10% discount at their family-run tailor shop, D & C.
In the morning, we rented bicycles and rode to the beach with Mo and Peter, a couple we know from Yeongwol. They were travelling Vietnam in the opposite direction, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.
We went to the tailor shop that afternoon to check things out. Just to look. There were two women running the shop, both of whom were well versed on sales. Before we knew it, Jared was selecting fabrics and being measured for his silk-lined cashmere suit.
“And you?” the older woman asked me. “We make you anything. What do you want.” It wasn’t a question. It was a statement: You will not leave here without new clothes.
Anything? I mean, I could use a nice dress, I thought.
“I could use a nice dress,” I said.
She pulled an enormous catalog out from under a table and put it in my lap. Hundreds of dresses, in any color I wanted, all waiting to be mine.
We left a half hour later, with instructions to return the following day for final fittings on Jared’s suit and my new green silk chiffon dress.
In the morning, the sun was blazing and the clouds were nonexistent. The four of us rented two motorbikes and sped off to My Son, a collection of abandoned Hindu temples about 30 kilometers out of town.
Way to go, us.
On the way back, we were hungry. The kind of hungry that hangs over a group of four like a bad smell, putting everyone in an aggressive mood and threatening to destroy the beautiful memories we had only recently created. Luckily, we saw this:
Inside, people were eating. We immediately parked the bikes and sat at a table. A plump, aproned woman brought out a plate of baguettes and a pitcher of water. Flies instantly swarmed the baguettes, but we brushed them away and tucked in. Seconds later, four bowls of the most delicious noodle soup ever were brought out to us. Silence descended on the table as we devoured the soup and bread, much to the amusement of the surrounding Vietnamese diners.
Mood buoyed, we motored back to Hoi An to check up on our clothes.
My dress needed a few final adjustments, but we had already decided to stay for three more nights, so there was no hurry.
Mo and Peter left on the night bus that night for Nha Trang, lamenting the fact that they couldn’t stay longer.
Jared and I spent the rest of the week lounging around town, taking refuge from the newly ever-present rain. Hoi An has plenty of places to lounge around, so we really kicked a goal there. We played a LOT of free pool at Treats, a bar/restaurant with an outdoor patio. I also ordered another dress and a jacket. So much for not needing (wanting) any clothes.
The water buffalo’s abode.