Hoi An - A Town of Tailors and Cobblers
05.08.2011 - 08.08.2011 37 °C
Hoi An is an unexpected suprize, it is a small town with a very charming old quarter, that has narrow streets and alley ways. There are lots of restaurants, down on the waterway and the streets have a very friendly vibe. I stayed in a small but busy backpacker hotel complete with swimming pool, which was brilliant given the temperatures were up around the 36 -37 C.
This is a town where people go shopping or more exactly, people get things tailored.
While chilling out in the pool, I met Henry a young man from London, who had all sorts of tailored items being made for him, including a couple of suits. This made me think I should also dip my dip my foot in the water and get a suit made as well. It was a spur of the moment decision, I dried myself off and I went down to see my tailor, Henry's one.
Within a few minutes she had my vital statistics and a shirt was being made to order.
The rest of the choices for my suit, I decided to leave till the following morning, when the light was better and I was sober. I didn't want to choose fabrics and colours slightly pie-eyed, just in case finished up with a suit, that only Elton John would be proud of.
So next morning when I visited her again, I made all the choices, the fabric – wool/cashmere, the colour - charcoal blue with a faint narrow pinstripe, the pockets, the lining etc.etc. and was told my next fitting would be that evening. They do things fast over here!
So for the rest of the day I hired a motorbike so I could ride to DaNang and visit a place called Marble Mountain, which was well worth the visit.
That evening with the second fitting out of the way I went out to dinner at a nearby restaurant where I met 78 year old Aussie Bob holding court in front of two attractive ladies from Ireland and a handsome young man from Barcelona. Bob started our meeting with the usual good natured verbals of what New Zealanders are good for, which I managed to duck or divert.
The girls turned out to be real good fun, Marion dark haired with a wicked sense of humour and Bronagh who was equally charming, with a more self affacing wit. Very soon we all knew more about each other, that in some cases, probably didn't need to know or had wanted to reveal. My revelation was that, the tropics and going commando, go hand in hand.
Aussie Bob turned out to be a good bloke and when he got up to leave us, so he could saunter off to another watering hole, he feigned, that he would be insulted, if he could not pay for the drinks. The girls protested heartly but in the end Bob got his way and disappeared into the night and the rest of us went to a street bar on the waterway.
It was here that Broagh revealed her deep love of pets and had all of us, including the more subdued Jose, in fits of laughter.
Both girls worked for the diplomatic corp in Madrid, so when Bronagh got her new posting to the Middle East, it immediately posed a problem, of what to do with Celtic, her pet hampster. He was no ordinary hampster, no he was extordinary.
First thing every morning he would leave his tunnel house under the sofa to greet his mistress. Standing his hind legs he would discuss, what was for breakfast and his schedule for that day and then off he would pop to work his way through it.
So how was Bronagh going to get Celtic back to Ireland to live her family?
Putting him in quarantine was not an option, that would be like sending him to prison, so Celtic came up with a cunning plan. He decided he would cocoon himself in small glass vial packed with a little cotton wool and attach it to his mistresses inner thigh. The plan worked seamlessly and Celtic was amazed how his mistress had got him through both border controls undetected. He realized he had seen sides of her that he never knew existed.
He gained Irish citizenship, and settled into living with Bronagh's family
But alais just as a a slight Irish lilt was starting to appear in his voice, tragedy struck. He working out on his jungle gym and lost his grip, slipped and strangled himself on the high bar. He was the victim of a freak accident. Celtic now has a little headstone at the bottom of the garden, that reminds everyone of what an amazing hampster he was.
I had a final fitting of the suit, liked its cut and it is now winging it's way back home as I write.
Off to Hue then Hanoi in the morning