Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ho Chi Minh City: Better Than A Sale At Barney's

My advice on crossing the street here is to look both ways, cross your fingers and then run like hell since the adherence to traffic signals (are there any?) can make it a bit tough to get around. But this my friends, is a very small price to pay considering the uber-tasty Vietnamese food (sauteed crawfish in cream sauce, crispy spring roll triangles, fried noodles, oh my!), ancient Taoist temples, outdoor beer gardens and el-cheapo shopping.

Like my grandmother, I believe that there’s nothing better than the satisfaction of getting a good bargain and believe you me…if she were here to see Ho Chi Minh City, you can be guaranteed she’d be getting on a plane with her arms full. Shop windows full of silk dresses, bespoke suits and trendy home goods sell their merchandise for outrageously low prices. It’s not uncommon to see couture gowns priced at $100 while purses, ties and hand embroidered linen tablecloths clock in at $30 and under. Plus, in many places you can bargain them down from the original asking price – quite a thrill. When I win the lottery I’ll be back here to furnish my (currently non-existent) apartment with the modern Asian lamps at Mosaique. Until then, I’ll be content with my fabulous $22 bamboo tray bargain that looks like it might’ve come from the Barney’s Warehouse Sale.

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