Friday, November 14, 2008

A Sense of Place

There's been lots of good memories of our time in Vietnam.  One of the best was sitting at this cafe, Givral, right off Lam Son square next to the Opera House in downtown Saigon.

For those who've been there, especially in its current form, the whole place is nothing to write home, or blog, about.  

But we were sitting there with my Mom, back on a visit, having some ice cream, and recollecting about how things were when she was young.  She would have some money in her pockets, come here and eat some ice cream with her sisters and school mates, while watching the traffic, waiting to see which friend would drive up in their Honda.  

I've been back to the little side street on which we had a house.  But nothing gave me a sense of terroir more so in our years here than this short story with my Mom.  

1 comment:

jaymul said...

We have spent many pleasant times at the Givraly during several visits to Saigon since 2005.
We stay at the Continental and one Sunday evening in Nov 2008 while enjoying our 6pm Happy Hour on the balcony, we were amazed to see an army of workers on the roof of the Givraly frantically moving stuff in and out of the rooms through open windows. We had no idea what was going on but were entertained by the constant activity.
After doing the usual tourist stuff the next day we hit the balcony as you do for 6 o'clock drinks and we we could not believe that the place above the Givraly had become a fully operational Russian Restaurant packed to the rafters with customers having a great night. Only in Saigon!
We reckon this is yet another reason why we love the place and cannot wait for our next Vietnam trip.