Wednesday 30 January 2008

Waiter in Saigon

We only had one customer since this morning. I wanted to be a one-day waiter at my cousin’s café in the center of Saigon, not far from the Opera House. So far, one customer only. 
I had a bad night sleep, the convertible sofa was strangely designed, it was difficult to find the right position, the air conditioning was blowing directly on me and making a loud roaring sound, while mosquitoes were waltzing around me.
I literally threw myself out of the bed when the alarm rang this morning. Actually, I could have slept one hour longer, since that lone morning customer only appeared an hour later…
I had prepared some music to replace the aggressive r’n’b and hip hop tunes my cousin usually plays and which may be a turn off for potential customers.
Well it’s all a very pleasant and fashionable environment but still waiting for people to dare come in.
Oh but  someone has just stepped in!!!


I can’t understand a word he’s saying. Nor can anyone else… Sounds like a Japanese trying to speak Vietnamese without the vocabulary.


Now I know why I’m no longer a piano teacher. Yesterday evening, my cousin’s eldest son was having his piano lesson. To say that he didn’t practice the whole week is an understatement. Not only hasn’t he touched a single key, but his expression was as happy as a caged rabbit.
The piano teacher wasn’t much of an enthusiast either. She merely hummed along, occasionally stopping him, but never telling him what to do to play the piece better. One piece after another - I must admit they weren’t very exciting to play, I suppose she knows him well now and after years of such display of passionate love for music, she has totally given up any hope to turn him into the next Horowitz.
Plinky plonk.


I  was standing at the café entrance when the postman  stopped and handed me a letter. I looked at it and startled. It was addressed to Tôn Thât An. To me! How on earth could somebody know I was there, and who was that somebody? For an instant I was a spy who would get his orders in the most baffling manner.
My name is…
Tôi là…
The letter apparently came from a bank. Money order? Oh yes, I badly needed money! But the name of the person who sent it was unknown to me.
It turned out that the landlord’s name was also Tôn Thât An.
Something that was unlikely to happen in France!

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