Tailors, cobblers, and food! Oh, my!

Trip Start Oct 10, 2008
Trip End Oct 27, 2008

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

We check out of the hotel we were in and take a cab to the Ha An Hotel.  It's on a riverside street and has a beautiful courtyard and architecture.  Rooms open up onto the courtyard.  Service is lovely....they offer us umbrellas in the light drizzle of the morning.  Joe drops the laundry at a place across the street and we leave our bags for later check-in.

We head down the street toward the market and decide to see if we can find the tailor the Aussie's recommended.  Lan's shop ends up to be a half a block up from where we decided to look.  Happy coincidence.  And Lan, herself, is a doll.  Very charming.  She gives me a catelog to flip through as Joe looks at fabrics.  We end up ordering a LOT of stuff:  4 shirts for Joe, a sport coat and a pair of slacks.  I get a suit made ($65 for a lightweight wool tailored suit!!), 3 shirts and a couple pair of pants.    We put down a deposit after getting measured and told to return this evening for a fitting.

THen we're off to find the shoe maker Jan recommended.  It's on the otherside of the small town, but still a walk.  It's still drizzling.  We find it and I order 2 pairs of boots ($80 each), sandals and some black silk slides.  Joe gets a pair of flashy white red & black leather athletic style shoes and some black leather dress shoes.  They draw around our feet and take a bunch of measurements.  We should come back tomorrow.  The whole shoe order comes to $300US....about what I'd pay for 2 pairs of boots if I could find any to fit my big calves in the US.

We run into the NZ women from the hotel last night and have coffee and a chat with them.  They were told their ATM cards wouldn't work in VN and they've been having problems with people accepting credit cards (and getting them to work in ATMs) so they've wired themselves money from their bank, which was a hassle.

We leave them as the rain stops and wander off to take pictures of the lovely buildings and streets in town...finally deciding on a little french/VN cafe that has some great appetizers for lunch.  The Cargo Club is beautiful, relaxing and makes a GREAT mojito. 

After lunch, we chat with a guy from DC who is sort of living in Hoi An.  I sit with 2 shop girls who want to practice their english while Joe chats with the guy about his plans to open a Jazz club in Hoi An.

More wandering, a pass through the market area and back to the room for a shower before dinner.  With the end of the rain, things warmed up and the humidity didn't die down.

The rain has started up again and is a bit heavy.

We head back to the tailor and get a fitting.  Joe's pants are perfect.  My suit jacket only needs a slight adjustment, the blouses need a tweak, but the pants are a disaster.  Did they even look at the measurements????  Lan assures me everything can be fixed.  Joe's shirt is the same....way too big everywhere.  We'll come back tomorrow afternoon for another fitting.  Things look well made...if they can get the fit right.  We'll see.

Off to dinner at the Mango Rooms.  Expensive but amazingly delish.  The chef wanders by to say hi.  Then back to the Cargo Club's bakery next door for mango cheesecake (Joe was eyeing it earlier in the day). 

The river looks about to crest and the rain is coming down in buckets.  We make our way back to the hotel and listen to the monsoon get even heavier at times in the night.
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