3/14/18: Final Night In Vietnam

I made breakfast at my hostel with my mango, muesli, and soy milk. One of the hostel staff members saw me with my soy milk and told me to stop drinking it because it’s bad for me. I told him I disagreed, and we got in a bit of an argument. He pulled up all these articles about how soy milk is proven to be unhealthy and I told him how a lot of them are skewed/unreliable. We went back and forth a bit more, and eventually I hit him with, “Well, dairy milk is much worse for you.” He agreed and the argument ended there. Hehe.

I went down to the backpackers street, walked into Luna’s gym and bought a day pass. I did a 5 km run on the treadmill and a shortened BBG workout (I did 3 sets instead of 4).

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Inside the gym
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Great people watching opportunities here 

I showered and then went to Connect Cafe, a random local coffee shop near my hostel. I eventually got hungry so I got lunch at Mani Vegan again. This time I got mushroom stir fry.

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I uber-biked to La Holista, a health & wellness company in HCMC, to interview the founders for the podcast. I absolutely love doing the bike shares– it’s so exhilarating to ride on the back and just be taken around the city.

The interview went really well and I had so much fun. I’m always so fulfilled after podcast interviews.
Chiara and Pascale (the founders) do so much, it’s insane! They cook, do cooking classes, organize outings, health coach… the list goes on. They both started off in really different careers, and decided to reinvent themselves completely a few years ago. They really inspired me! You can listen to the episode here.

Once I got back to the hostel, I was researching things to do in Ho Chi Minh when Ethan, a guy I had met the night before, asked me what I was up to. I told him I was researching things to do, and he told me he and Julien (another guy I met the night before) were about to go explore around. He asked me to join, and I of course agreed.

We first went to get smoothies next door because I was craving one. I got banana and passionfruit, and OMG once again it was on. point!! It was basically nice cream. I loved it.

We walked toward the Russian Market, making a bunch of random stops along the way as we walked into stores and ran into different people we knew.

The market was crazy!! It had so much stuff. I have no idea how they sell so much clothing. Their inventory is seemingly endless. There was some really good name-brand stuff though– nike shorts, North Face bags, nice big winter coats, etc. I had to fight myself to not get anything.

I played boyfriend as Ethan tried on a bunch of different hiking pants, helping him decide which one to buy. He tried on four different pairs, I gave him my input, and he ended up buying the ones that I liked the most. It was fun! I don’t know why boys complain about shopping with their girlfriends. You just have to sit there, dish your opinion, and then they listen to you.

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Ethan and his bizarre outfit

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On our way back up, we found BOMB street food: it was baked sweet potato with mystery powder shaken all over it. I really loved it, and was sad I had just discovered it in my last few days in Vietnam.

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We got back to backpackers street and walked into a bar with live music. The beer cost 40,000 per bottle, which was pretty outrageous so we left pretty quickly.

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Random dancing balloon animal we saw on the street 

We walked to find the summer rolls that had been recommended to the guys by their laundromat earlier. We walked over to the laundromat, and the guy working there actually walked us over to the place, which was extremely nice.

The menu had 3 things: pho, dry noodles, and summer rolls. We were the only foreigners there, which was pretty cool. They made me summer rolls without shrimp or pork; they just had basil, lettuce, and rice noodles inside. They were good and healthy, but nothing out of this world.

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We all had a couple more beers there and then left to go wander more. We spent the next 30 minutes practicing our Vietnamese on random people who walked by. We practiced hello (sin chao), I love you (ahn yu em), and no thank you (hom cam on). Most people were pretty responsive, but I don’t think the girls liked it when Ethan told them “I love you.” I don’t blame them. I would have kicked him in the balls if I were them, probably.

Random pro tip: When ppl try to sell you random shit on street, simply say, “no thank you” in THEIR language (their language is key) and they will walk away. Don’t say it in English or it won’t work.

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oh hey ethan (and random dude)

Somewhere along the way, we started talking to some people on the street. They were going to some bar nearby, so we went with them. It was playing good hip hop and we were having a mini-dance party in the corner, which was fun, but the drinks were too expensive so we left. We picked up some beers from a convenient store and walked around more.

The boys got street food– corn sautéed with eggs. The street food stand was right next to a pizza place with no customers, so Ethan started to act like he worked for the restaurant to try to help them get more customers. He was saying stuff like, “Good price!” and “Good pizza good pizza!”

I was dying. At one point he even grabbed the menu from the restaurant and started going out on the street and showing people the menu to lure them in. I almost peed my pants.

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Crazy backpackers street 

We walked into a random club with a DJ playing house music. We hung out there for a bit before we got bored and walked around a bit more.

We decided to head back around midnight since I had an early start the next morning to Cambodia. I said bye to Ethan and Julien, which was sad since they were so much fun and I wish I could have spent more time with them. I always seem to leave a country just as I’m starting to get into it and catch a groove. So it goes…

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