After replacing a broken clutch on poor li’l Sissy, I took her to a local bike wash. These washes take about 15 or 20 minutes. You drive in the door and leave the bike to them. A young person, perhaps around 15, checked that all belongings that might get wet were removed from the bike. He then pushed it into a stall with a small hoist. An older boy then started the procedure for washing. The hoist was raised to give access to the underside of the bike. The young man sprayed Sissy down and set off to giving her a vigorous scrub with soapy water. Nothing was missed. Every inch was scrubbed and inspected. Two people rinsed her and then pushed her to a different area. Three young men then blew into every little nook and cranny of li’l Sissy. Ahhhhh the luxury…. After dry and squeaky clean, she was then misted by a coat of wax and buffed by the attentive young lads to a gleaming shine. I had watched others claim their bikes, and all paid 10,000 Dong ( about 50 cents) When I went to pay I was told 15,000…. Huh?? I was about to tell him what I thought of being over charged, but when I went to pull out a 10,000 note, I found I had no small bills. Darn!! I gave him the 200,000 bill I had and let him gouge me for the 5000. Next time I will confront him on the extra charge for the foreigner…. Anyway…. Li’l Sissy in all her pride and all made up, proudly pranced with me on her back almost all the way home until…….. the rain came down and we traveled the last kilometer on muddy roads. Somehow she did not seem very happy when we got home.
A little bit about fashion.
Clothing is not expensive here. Trademarks are widely ignored, and you can get clothing that looks like brand names from Europe and America, but has been manufactured locally by expert tailors. I plan to do a blog on counterfeit items at another time, but for now it is just about clothes. And ooh la la, the high fashion is everywhere. Men are dressed in Vietnam versions of Armani jeans and western style shirts. The women???? Long legs and mini skirts are all the rage here. Short, short, short miniskirts. Also low cut jeans. Eye candy for both men and women. It is very hard not to stare. Sexy is in and many here try to look as sexy as they possibly can be. Even now as I write this there are two twenty something ladies in mini skirts, and one in shorts ( justly named), and a young man with gleaming shoes, perfect hair, designer style jeans, and a rodeo shirt opened lust low enough to get a hint of chest. It is a very common site to see a woman riding side saddle behind her mate, miniskirt and spiked heels a distraction as you pass…..The so called designer hoodies and jackets can be quite funny. English and pro USA slogans are stitched into many. The problem is either someone translated them incorrectly, or they are purposely worded funny. Most of the people here cannot read English well so the have no clue as to what it says on their Jackets. Some that I can recall that gave me a chuckle Is “ Free Willy Inspector”, or “ Kiss my pink”, or “USA tug team”. There are so many more that I cannot recall at the moment. If you travel here, be sure to bring your favorite design of shirt or dress. You can take it to one of the remarkable tailors here. They can make exact copies with whatever material you choose for a fraction of the cost at home. The best city for this is Hoi An, but NhaTrang also has a lot of places.
The hotel?….. going full steam ahead. Renovations still ongoing. We hired a girl to work in reception. Her English is not very good and she is young, but we will give her a shot. If she is as eager as others I have witnessed, she will pick up on the language fast. If not, we will find someone else. Now…. Off to purchase some furniture.. The stuff in the hotel now is not in good condition.
An update to yesterdays post. It is Sunday here and Brad and I are watching the students from college going home for lunch. I guess school is 7 days a week here.