The art of getting lost

Long lost friend in an alley

Early this decade, I sometimes ate at this street noodle vendor in Saigon. She always fed me an extra fried egg, and when it rained, she found a dry spot for me to sit. Since 2016, once I started spending more time in Vietnam, I tried to locate her. Locals told me that the neighbourhood authorities had chased away the street vendors, many took up other occupations or went back to the provinces. Today I was in a small alley, and I felt a tap on my arm. I turn around and find my favourite noodle seller. She has a shop of her own now. In Saigon, you should always walk into a random alley. Something magical often happens.

The Che Seller of Saigon

The Chinese style dessert seller at 31 Nguyen Thai Binh, mixing up a Che (Vietnamese for dessert), is a joy to watch. Don't know how to speak Vietnamese? No worries, just point at the ingredients, the Che seller will make sure that whatever you pick will refresh you. A good resting place after that late evening walk. The communal seating around the cart encourages new friendships.

Ocean, Vung Tau

I want to take the ferry out instead of the bus. The girl at the hotel asks me whether I know how to swim. Seems the ferry has a record of breaking down, or the girl is a secret bus company agent. (Vung Tau, Vietnam)