Christmas Eve HCMC

Christmas Eve HCMC
Tired after our long hours of journeying yesterday, spent the day watching favourite films (me blogging as well), Bear had had the bright idea of bringing our media player now plugged into the back of the TV. We also booked a couple of sightseeing tours and nipped across to the corner shop. I had a fancy to eat at an Argentinian restaurant and the time we were given was nine o’clock. Strolling past the wonderful smelling Spice Bistro just down the road from our digs at half past eight.
At the corner a sea of motorbikes. The trick to crossing the road is to walk unflinchingly as the riders plan for your movement and avoid you, they has incredible spatial acuity and judgement. I find it reassuring to say OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO as I go. Slightly alarming, until you get used to it is when you cross a minor crossing on a green man and cars as well as bikes nip around, completely ignoring the lights. It’s a local thing apparently only bested in Hanoi. Look forward to that city then......... Meanwhile, I have renamed this as Ho Chi Crazy City...........
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At the corner we look up at Times Square, walk down a road crammed with eateries amazed at how many Christmas decorations there are.
We bimble smoothly past this particular establishment...........
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We arrive at El Gaucho and the very sexy manager greets us. He hands us over to the seating chap and we follow him to the third floor.
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Earlier Bear had shown me the online menu and I had arrived fancying the lamb shank. Not on the printed menu our lovely waitress went to ask, also having taken note that I cannot eat herbs, big grin on her return. We enjoyed a cocktail while we waited, Bear a Singapore Sling, me Sex on the Beach. Bear joined me and our heavenly smelling food arrived, we both ordered sautéed mushrooms and Bear had a portion of creamy spinach with a cheese topping – delicious.
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As it’s Christmas we sipped our way through a bottle of Roubine (my first wine in a very long time), a fresh, crisp slightly tart rose. We were real baddies, Bear had vanilla ice cream with hot berry compote and I had ice cream with a shot of espresso coffee. All the waitresses giggled when I did an impression of a sumo wrestler, they were all about four feet six, wearing size one shoes to my sevens. They taught us to say “hello”, “bye bye”, “Merry Christmas”, “Thank you” and “delicious”. We’ll be fluent by morning.................Oh, this is a really hard language, the written word sounds nothing like, I had to write my own phonics beside the neat hand of the ladies. Our parting gift was homemade iced vodka and caramel, had to sample a few of those..........
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We left full, happy and knowing there was another El Gaucho in Hanoi, may have to repeat this experience. Opposite, the stunning Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel. What a stunning, clean-lined building.
Bear like the lights on the building to the right.
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Hampers in a window, with lots of old favourites.
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Santa Claus, Mouton Cadet and a Mediterranean Bistro all so Western.
Loved this guard outside a posh off licence, hot to his duty.......
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Next door and our digs, trigger finger at the ready.
Well.............It Is Christmas...............