Around the corner from the hotel was a small tin booth where a very tiny husband and wife made submarines. Not only were they cute and adorable people, but they worked hard from sunrise, and after a noontime nap, until 10 pm or so. I admire and like them. These two were more than just likable though……. They had a talent for making the best eggs and toasted bread I have ever encountered. How could that be you ask? They kept the bread warm with a piece of hot charcoal in an enclosed space under the cart. He or she would light a small counter top butane hotplate and in a small tin frying pan, they would cook 2 eggs to perfection. Just as the rawness of the egg was gone, and before they had a chance to get hard out would come the eggs to be stuffed into the warm and slightly crisp bread. Some Pork sausage would be added and then a shot of Soya sauce, a bit of salt and pepper, and finally a bead of chili sauce along the cut. Ooooooooo….. Ambrosia!!! Man was it good. I hade one every morning for breakfast for months until I started
watching my weight again. I would take customers from the hotel to him and all would go back many times after that. I even promised Maz that I would buy her one of these special egg sandwiches when I met her. Well…… here is where the story is about to get sad.
A few nights ago as Mai and I were headed out, we passed a commotion at the side of the road. There was a food stand in the road and people all around. There was also a person holding his head, but I did not recognize who it was. I assumed that it was some sort of motorcycle accident where a drunk may have collided with the cart, or something to that effect. The next morning, my favorite egg sandwich place was nowhere to be seen. Oh nooooo… People in the area know me and know them, so this is how the story unfolds…. There
may be more details to the story that I do not know about, but here is what I know.
My little friend had decided that the bakery he was dealing with was no longer a place he wanted to do business with. He decided to use another bakery and the move must have caused some kind of FACE issue. The baker hired, or convinced some gang members to rough him up because of the dispute. My poor friend was beaten pretty bad and hospitalized. The submarine shop is now nowhere to be seen. There was never any boys in blue that showed up to my knowledge. That has set off another issue with me.
The next day as I learned about the fate of my little buddies, I asked if anybody helped. No answer…… Huh? I asked again… If this is happening, did anybody call the police… No!!…….. Well why the HELL not?? There is a big defeatist attitude here that there is no point in calling the police because they are only out to make money. I happen to know that is not entirely true. The dealings we have had with the police have been pretty good. The problem here is that the Vietnamese believe that they live in a lawless society, and perhaps they do. If nobody will get involved, or even make an effort to call somebody, it truly is lawless. How could the police respond to an event it knows nothing about? I guess the people were afraid to get involved because the gang members might cause them trouble. Maybe… but if you do not know them, what are the odds of them knowing you. Tomorrow I will try to make the attempt to see my friend and maybe slip him a few bucks to help him get back on his feet. Something like this would never happen to a person like me. Vietnamese people go out of their way to be helpful and protective of a foreigner. The only thing that ever happens is the attempt to get at our money by almost any means. Sometimes it is by thievery, sometimes by honest work, and sometimes by sex and other devious means.
On the lighter side…… I have mentioned before that I have become quite a hard ass when I need to be…. Well…. Today it backfired on me. One of the fish ladies, and a tiny one at thet, threw what looked to be garbage in the median in front of the hotel. I was already pissed of at other events, so I went charging out and grabbed the offensive garbage and threw it into the middle of the road. It turns out that she threw a pair of gloves in the median to dry, and I was totally mistaken. I crossed the street and apologized and got a big punch in the arm by the tiny woman. OK.. everything is mended. And sorry….. 1 wife is enough.. I have a friend named Dave though…….