Day 6: Engaging the Service


Yesterday was rough, not gonna lie. Joe pooped four times. Poop, Poop 2: Back to the Bathroom, Poop 3: It Just Keeps Coming, and Poop 4: Still Poopin’. Some people think Poop 2 is the acme, but for my money Poop 4 is the most enjoyable. That was when the series started to have more fun and take itself less seriously. On a related note I’d like to give a quick shout out to a true hero on this trip, my colon, which so far has been running like a finely tuned german automobile. It’s a small miracle really, given certain realities of my life, the food we’ve been eating, and the schedule that we’ve been keeping, but it’s the small miracles that sustain us when we’re thousands of miles from home and we have only this guy for company.

An Bang Beach bums.

On to the matters of the day.

So yeah we got a late start getting back to Hoi An. We were supposed to be there at 9:30 for our suit fittings, but we didn’t leave the hotel until 11:30. Whatever, we’re on vacation.

We parked our bikes in the same spot we did the first day. I was curious to see if that same dude would pop up wearing a motorcycle helmet. “Hi! I’d like to tell you about… Oh it’s you guys.”

He was nowhere to be found. Nor were we approached by anyone else on our walk back to A Dong Silk. Perhaps they could tell by the way we use our walk that we were suited men, no time to talk. We hurried into the shop and were scolded for being late by those adorable ladies. Then we were put through a proper fitting.

A woman almost completely obscured by Joe in profile.

There’s something extremely pleasant about being fitted for a suit. I don’t know if it’s being in the hands of a professional, the personal care, the banishment of the uncertainty that always comes with buying clothes, or being gently touched. Probably all of the above, it’s very nice.

I’m having a great time.

There was a long debate about what to do with the shoulders of my jacket. I don’t know what it was about, but they drew on me with that little piece of chalk a lot. When I left the shop for the last time, they told me to stand up straight so maybe it had something to do with that.

A Dong Silk demands TWO fittings so they told us to come back at 4. “What should we do in Hoi An while we wait?” we asked. “Go to the beach.” They said. Don’t have to tell us twice.

After the first fitting at A Dong Silk, we had to go for our only fitting at Ba-Ri tailors, they of the Threadliest Catch. They got us in and out of there.

Party socks. Party suit.

After fitting two we were released into the wild and we went to An Bang beach. A lovely, if not dissimilar beach to the one by our hotel. The lady wanted to charge us 150,000 dong for two beach chairs, but when she left to get our towels and beer, a sympathetic beach goer next to us told us that we could get two chairs for 100,000. When the lady returned, I was ready.

“$150,000 for two chairs.” she told us.

“That’s not what I heard.” I said. “How about two chairs for 100?”

“Two chairs, 150.” She countered.

I paid the lady.

(Australian Accent) “She makes up her own proice.”

This from a group on the other side of our chairs. These people were not happy with the service here in Hoi An. According to an overheard anecdote, they’d been visiting a friend’s room in a different resort and had been pilloried by the staff for doing so. They said something about “western culture” and I tuned them out.

Joe went in the water and said it was hot. He also said there were visible fish. I’m not sure if this was a selling point or a deterrent. I skipped it. Warm sea water is nice but not for a super hot day. It’s like when people keep their pools too warm. Pools are supposed to be cold. Cool at least. You want hot water get a hot tub.

We walked a little ways down the beach and stumbled into what was my second favorite meal of the trip. I think the place was called Starfish Restaurant? Full credit to Joe’s restaurant nose. It sniffed a winner. We had soft noodles with seafood, stir-fried rice with egg and something called Three Best Friends spring rolls, we think the three best friends were vegetables, shrimp, and human skin. Long story.

After the meal we went back to our third and final fitting of the day. It was an exhausting process but we made it. And the results, well, the results speak for themselves.

Party boys

We shipped all our clothes back which was expensive and weird, they had to send for a mail person in order to ship something, and we left Hoi An more spent than we should have been. We shouldn’t have gone to two places, it just made it more complicated and time consuming. If you come to Hoi An, pick a tailor and go for it.

We rode, nay, we BOMBED back to Da Nang. Riding here is wild. There are cars, bikes, pedestrians and they’re all going wherever they want. It’s thrilling and you can basically drive like a complete asshole and no one cares. It’s what you’re supposed to do. So we flew out of Hoi An. During one long stretch I got my NVX up to 112 kph which is hair under 70 mph and I think she had a couple more clicks in her.

We got back to the hotel about 5 and didn’t leave again. We managed to text the taco place from our first day and order some tacos, another small miracle.

It’s not that easy.

We already had one of these from the first visit so hopefully they’ll honor two combined tickets. I’ll keep you posted. I know you want to know.

We inhaled the tacos and were in bed by 10.

Back on schedule.

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