Sunday, 31 October 2010

Arrived in Hoi An

The overnight train from Saigon pulled into Danang around lunchtime on 30th Oct and as we disembarked I noticed there were two other westerners in the same rail carriage as me who I hadn't seen during the trip from Saigon.
A few minutes later I was out the front of the train station negotiating with a taxi driver to take me the 30km to Hoi An, and the same western couple approached me and mentioned to me that they were also going to Hoi An and we could all share a taxi.  Good idea.  So we all jumped in and away we went.
We had a good chat during the 45-60 minutes it took to travel to Hoi An.  Their names were Marta and Ulrick and they were a young married Polish couple travelling on holiday through Cambodia and Vietnam for a few weeks before returning to Poland.
Then, randomly the taxi driver pulled over and a local lady waiting at the side of the road asked if she could also get in the taxi.  We were all a bit puzzled about this, and it turned out the lady was the Taxi driver's sister who also needed a lift into Hoi An.  Eventually she jumped in and away we all went again.  Her name was Tam and she worked at one of the many tailor shops in Hoi An.  She was very friendly and outgoing. Quite a character.  She made sure we had the address of her shop, and I wanted some clothes made for me in Hoi An so I thought I might as well check her shop out among others.
The taxi dropped off my new aquaintences and then finally dropped me at my hotel.  I settled in, had some food and a bit of rest and a few hours later decided to go for a walk through the old part of town.
After wandering around this beautiful town for a while, a motorbike whizzed past me and then came to a screaming stop.  The passenger on the back of the bike jumped off and came running towards me waving.  When she got close enough I could hear her ask "Hello! You remember me??" and my first instinct was to assume she had either made a mistake or this was some elaborate scam.
But when she took her helmet off I *did* recognise her!  It was Tam the taxi driver's sister!  She said she was on her way to her shop now and asked if I wanted to take a look at her clothes.  I was heading in the direction of the markets anyway, so I said ok.  She promptly walked out into the road and stopped the first motorbike that came by (it didn't seem to matter much to her who it was), told me to jump on the back of that bike, told the rider to follow her, and then sped off!  So off we went too.  It seems not many people say no to Tam, she's just that kind of lady.

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