On our shopping expedition today, Trung and I came upon a wedding party in Hanoi's old quarter. Female friends and family of the groom were riding en masse to deliver gifts of jewelry and food to the bride. Trung did not understand my joke when I suggested the big lacquer gift boxes made the women look like they were delivering pizza. A discussion of wedding customs followed, and Trung was especially fascinated by the good luck that Westerners attribute to catching the bride's bouquet.
A shop nearby had some of the round boxes for sale. They were quite beautiful and an incredible bargain--like everything else here. I bought a rosewood set (for socks and underwear?) painted with red and gold decorations. Later, we had lunch at a new little Italian place I had seen in the local newspaper and Trung had his first taste of pizza.
Trung had errands of his own to do and returned to the hotel a few hours later with a big bouquet of flowers. "Catch these," he giggled as he throw them towards me.
Summer means lazy days on the beach and sizzling nights at the discos and outdoor beer joints. There is no better time to visit Saigon, Hoi An, Hanoi and Halong Bay. Why don't you join me?


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