Sunday, December 02, 2007


Sunshine headed to the airport this morning with last night's1 band. At present, they are playing half the country away in Đà Nẵng, which you can find at nearly the midpoint of Việt Nam's north-south axis, east at the South China seashore.2 She'll come back tomorrow. After last night's show, I realized I'd not eaten all day. Sunshine took a cab back to our apartment while I lit out on foot looking for food. My first stop was the rooftop terrace at the Rex Hotel, where things were hopping, the night was steamy, and I waited ten minutes without being served. The food at the Rex is excellent, but I didn't feel like competing with the afterhours crowd for service. I left. By then it was after eleven and many District One restaurants were closing; open hotel restaurants promised more of the environment I'd avoided at the Rex: fun for group drinking but challenging for quick, lonesome dining. Two opportunities remained: southwest to what's called the "backpacker district" near the New World Hotel, a cluster of twenty-four hour bar-restaurants, hostels, and massages; or due east to an upscale expatiate area near the river where, incidentally, rows of Japanese restaurants live. I went that-a-way. I went that way again today, foraging for myself while Sunshine's in Đà Nẵng. How Saigon is: last night I hunched into a midnight yakisoba haven where two beers, salmon sashimi and huge noodle bowl ran under ten bucks; tonight, miso soup, sake, and assorted sashimi soared over thirty. Both were excellent, but I liked last night's more: the lone eater along an empty six-seat sushi bar, between a waving cat and racks of J-pop magazines; welcomed by a squat, bellicose Japanese expat who handed me the TV remote before disappearing to do my cooking. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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