#068: The Coffee Shop [Vietnam] Part IIITak's dispatch released on 11 May 2016

Ho Chi Minh Alley

The buzz of gasoline engines, the sunlight illuminating the flower-printed curtains of the new room, the loud-speakers of the rat-trap selling bicycle jockeys, it all seems to signal the arrival of good things to come. You stare at the ceiling. You wonder if the fire alarm would even work. You doubt that. The water stains in the ceiling. Is there roof access?

Your vision darts to the wires running at the intersection of the wall and ceiling. The small green lizard freezes, waits and disappears into the shadowy corner. Lizards make better companions than mosquitoes.

The air-conditioned air escapes from the opening doorway. You do not notice the heat, but the smell of fish sauce hanging in the atmosphere. You amble into a cafe of sorts; merchandise covering the walls. She smiles. You hold up two fingers, she nods and quickly disappears.

The condensed milk-sweetened iced coffees sit in front of you and a friend. You both gaze out onto the street, and unconsciously empty the tall glasses of their contents. Another gesture, another pair of replenishing drinks. And there again, just as yesterday, the jungle motors along, carrying the same old man as its passenger. He scans to the left, to the right and continues. The conversation continues to build. There is no rush, no pressure, no discomfort; peace in chaos is perhaps the most optimal kind.

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Internationally-published photographer with a passion for creative food, fine products, unique cultures and underground music. Twitter / Instagram / Email

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