Friday, 29 October 2010

Me and Julia

I hired a bike and rode out to the beach with one and half million dong in my pocket. Big wind, choppy brown ocean. Some foreigners swimming anyway. Not much to see but on the way back there was an unassuming restaurant hanging out over the river, looking very inviting. Good enough for a wind-swept and dusty millionaire, I thought.

I sat on the rickety deck and ordered steamed squid. The name of the place is Son: A song of natur. I was presented with one plate of artfully arranged vegetables, steamed rice and chopped tender squid with a bowl of tasty dipping sauce. In the river a man and a wife were throwing their net from a small boat. I sipped ginger tea, read my book, took some photos. The man came to talk to me, the usual "Where you from?". He asked me to sign a small visitors book.

Here's the thing. An entry from the page before me "My partner and I dined here and very much enjoyed the experience. I hope that this visit will help to bring our two countries closer together. Julia Juillard."

I said to the man, you had the Prime Minister here? He shrugged, seemed to think I was some sort of crazy foreigner. Do I take it she didn't have a troop of body guards and press jockeys with her? Our Julia sat here in this spot just yesterday? - I checked online, sure enough, she is here for her first summit with Asian leaders. Get that!

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