A Trilogy, 3 of 3: A New Hope
Nearly ever bar in Ho Chi Minh has hostesses who are nice to look at, but when you just want a quiet pint and chat to your mate about the football and what has been happening during the week, having a third wheel beside you isn’t a great experience and thus we searched out a pretty normal bar to have our Sunday lunches.
The owner of the bar we were searching for, an Australian guy, had done well. He ran a tight ship, his staff were pleasant to the patrons, but in no way were they allowed to engage them too far and form any form of relationships, financial or otherwise. That was a big taboo.
So Derek and I would meet there for Sunday lunch and hair of the dog. Derek was an editor of a local paper and worked nights starting on the Sunday, so we would have a couple of beers and lunch and he would set off for his shift. With it being a pleasant environment I decided to stay on sitting at the bar and slowly get legless. I do enjoy afternoon drinking, I always have.
The barmaid's name was Yen and, she was quite stunning (for me); slim, bubbly, big smile and always happy. We got chatting in pidgin English and things went well. After her shift finished we went for some street food, which in Vietnam is nearly always great. She came back to stay at my flat, and I was more than delighted. She asked if she could borrow a t-shirt to sleep in and I immediately reached for the football top of my favourite team. Nope, she was not wearing that. Bugger, that's a fantasy right there that will have to wait.
Once she is suitably clothed we slip into bed and quickly remove the t-shirt (what was the point?). She was pretty perfect, beautiful body, lovely smile and possibly the best performance I have ever experienced. My only concern was she had next to no boobs then again she had nipples as large as the buttons on my old granny's radiogram and just as brown.
After the honours were done we would shower and she would take pleasure in soaping me down and cleaning me fully. Life was fantastic! The next morning I would awake, a little hung over starting to touch the front of my head. I gradually opened my eyes and she is not lying next to me. Shit!
A mate got robbed, not once but twice in Saigon, credit cards. Laptop, the works. Alarmed I get up and walk through to the living area and there she is cleaning the flat from top to bottom. Jackpot!
Lunch is next as she knocks up a decent piece of scran from my badly stocked larder. I cannot believe what is going on. The pattern continues every day. We meet after work, sex, shower, clean flat, cook food, then she goes to work to repeat the cycle again. She tells me she loves me, the one phrase she truly knows in English, I reply with ‘yeah’.
It's all going well. She is not asking for anything, and I am either fantastic in the sack or she just likes the security. The later is probable, the former is just not me! However, although she is great, her boobs are too small, and it upsets me greatly. It's a minor detail as other than that she is a 10, but I know deep down she is just another short term solution. I need to work out what to do. Especially as my mother arrives in one month and may not take to this arrangement, or to be honest my mother's presence would spoil everything.
But how can I bin her? She is truly a nice person, she does everything a man could ever ask for and she is not demanding anything in return. One day in the supermarket while we buy groceries, she pops in a toothbrush. A sign of moving in. Is this the moment I’m looking for to kick off and kick her out my life? No, not really. She’s nice, I like her around. She stays most nights anyway. My flat is like a show flat it's so clean. No I can’t do it.
I shouldn’t have worried though. The moment came not long after, a point of no return. In any relationship there are boundaries, lines that must not be crossed. My rage built in me from the pit of my stomach. I didn’t even have to think twice, this was dishonour! Worse than a guilty secret she may have had, or going off with another man. No, much, much worse!
We were in the supermarket, standing in front of a selection of chocolate, to the right was the local Viet chocolate, next to it the Asian ‘Dove’ range of chocolate, to the left of that the imported Australian made Twix and maltersers, next to them Toblerones. She reached out, her hand to the far left and picked up a bar of imported Belgian chocolate and put it in the basket! No F**king way!! Have you seen the price of imported Belgian chocolate! The Viet stuff or dove would be fine. I would even have allowed her a Twix or a Mars, but imported Belgian chocolate. No f*cking way, does she think I am made of money? The fact that she lent me her scooter for 3 days while mine was being serviced didn’t come into it (I had the audacity to stop and a roadside decoration, otherwise known as a red traffic light, although I was the only bike in the street, the girl behind me still managed to ram me at 40 km/h), nor the cleaning of the flat or how good the sex was, this was too far. Belgian f**king chocolate! She was done for from that moment on. I refused to take her calls or go back to the bar. It was a shame.
She was distraught, she texted me she loved me many times, but all I could see was that bar of imported Belgian chocolate lying in the shopping basket on top of the vegetables and noodles we were buying for our lunch.
She was a lovely girl and all in all I did like twirling the knobs on the radiogram and I do hope she has found a good person to be with. She deserves that. Maybe a senior executive for Leonidas would be perfect for her.
I'd be delighted if my Vietnamese girlfriend chose the Belgian chocolate. Let's not forget Swiss chocolate was an option yet she still chose Belgian over it – a lady of fine taste with a degree of worldliness is sexy to me!
On another note, I wonder if the bar you met her was Bernie's? Very nice spot. On my first trip to Saigon I spent a couple of evenings there and found the staff to be very pleasant and the bar to be something of an oasis with reasonably priced drinks and good food.