Yesterday afternoon's caffeine injection was taken lakeside. The gleaming sun on the water was supposed to infuse a sense of calm, to mentally regenerate the shattered lobes of a brain weakened by a longer than ordinary working week. I was looking for an hour or so of meditative zen-sipping - minus conversation, minus reading matter.
But I became distracted.
Firstly, across the road in the parkland adjoining the lake, a rag-tag group of adolescent shoe-shine boys were partaking in an over-zealous card game, each ace being flung down with more vigour and louder sound effects than the last. The crescendo of noise reached when the winning card was laid down would have flipped even the most concentrated yoga enthusiast out of their lotus position. My own state of coffee lull was shot to pieces. The card dealer's blue hair and exuberant magnetism made it too much to bear.
My people-watching addiction kicked in again.
Just in time for Grandma News to step up into the coffee shop with her cardboard folder of doom, gloom and superstition. Selling all kinds of front page news, she promoted her wares with wrinkles and a betel- stained smile revealing true life stories better than those in her print-stained hands.
She was a walking edition of the history of Vietnam.
And I drank her down.
In the cafe's retro glassware.
The Price of History
One cafe nau da (iced coffee with milk), one cacao da (iced chocolate) - 18,000VND (USD$1.05, AUD$1.55)
102 Tran Vu