Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Have a cuppa - The Hanoi Way

The current cold winter * (cold for me anyways) reminded me of my trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. Yoshi and I went there last December. Driving out of the airport we could see how skilful the Vietnamese people are in balancing.This guys could drive through traffic with huge items being place on their bikes and motorcycles with ease. In mist of all the chaos, these people kept their balance as steady as can be.

We arrived at out hotel room freshened up and headed out to discover the streets of this old city. He stayed in the Old Quarters, so was heaps to see around this area. But, being a coffee junkie, I needed my caffeine hit.

So the first stop that we made was this small old coffee shop, the lady mending the shop couldn’t speak a word of English nor did they have any menus. So we tried saying coffee in as many languages as we knew...COFFEE ? KOPI? COHEE ? CAFE? ...and she smiled and said ohhh...

Then it came ,"Cafe" made with finely ground Vietnamese-grown dark roast coffee individually brewed with a small metal French drip filter (cà phê phin) into a cup containing about a
quarter to a half as much Condence Milk. You could see how black and thick the dark matter they call coffee was. Then I looked around and everyone had ice as well, I wanted them too... damn, how was I to describe ice to this lady?

I raised my hand and said ice, that didn’t work...and pretended like I was holding an empty glass and said "cling-cling"... she still didn't get it! A few more unsuccessful with my attempts at charade with the shop lady, some else from another table got me! and order Ice for us in Vietnamese . I said thanks and gave them a thumbs up . Had a sip of my coffee... and then SLAP... boy was it strong! I sure woke up that morning...

Anyways if you go to Hanoi wanting to order Ice coffee in Vietnam, It's called "Cafe Da" ;)

Ever got lost in translation?


25 comments:

Dzoli said...

Nummero Uno.It is cold in NZ too.Thank God for the old fireplace :)Who can afford electricity bills these days.Anyhow I would love to visit hanoi ,I love Vietnamese food:)
Great time you had ,I can tell and you always learn something new.
And I haven't been lost in translation but if I try to translate sometimes from English to Serbian on Google translator I have the gratest fun:)

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

I have had this in a Vietnamese restaurant yep strong not my cup of tea he he

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

their coffee is very similar to the local coffee here...

Sylvia said...

Vietnam is on the top of my wish list to visit. Have a wonderful days-

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) said...

You did a marvelous job communicating in a foreign country. When you want something badly enough, you just find a way to say it!

Karen Law said...

It is interesting to travel to other countries where you do not speak the native language. It can get rather frustration and/or humorous at times trying to get your ideas across to someone else like that through hand gestures and super slow talking (not that the latter ever helps). Thanks for dropping by at my blog and for saying hi. I really appreciate it! Hope to see you back :)

Marjie said...

I saw an episode of Top Gear set in Vietnam. The loads people balanced on their motor bikes were incredible (even whole families on the bikes)!

I just had trouble last week trying to convey to my lawn service to use a lawn mower to cut the lawn. They only speak Spanish. I speak no Spanish. It wasn't easy.

Hello Naka said...

fun photos :)

PinkOrchids said...

I would love to visit Vietnam one day. It's amazing how much they can balance on a scooter huh? In Beijing, you had someone riding a bicycle with like their whole family in the back weaving in and out of traffic!
I love Vietnamese Ice coffee!! I love Vietnamese food in general :) I babysat my aunts' friends' little girl once and she only spoke Vietnamese, and I knew none! The most important word I learnt from that experience was "toilet" which sounded like "dye", which indicated to me; grab her and run to the toilet as fast as you can!

Lori said...

I got lost in translation daily when in Brazil, or at least it seemed that way. Now that we are back in the US, it happens as well, but less with language and more with world views. :)

I've only had true Vietnamese coffee once, in Singapore and I love it! We couldn't make it to Vietnam on our last trip due to lack of time to get visas, but it will be number one on our trip back in the next year or two. Great post!

whitney said...

I've always wanted to visit Vietnam. I love this post! The photos are lovely and everything is so insightful.
I get lost in translation everytime I go back to China because everyone thinks I can speak Chinese when I can't, haha.

fleeting moments

Anhycakes said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping for by. Your life looks much more exciting than mine.

arsyparsy said...

Aww Vietnam! I'm planning to visit in 2 years when I've saved up!
Yeah I've heard that everyone rides bikes because most roads aren't even big enough for cars! Thanks for visiting :D!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

I so envy your journeys! I think the last time I got lost in translation was the nail salon where I am pretty sure the girl doing my nails was talking about me:)

One of my friends actually just got back from Vietnam and he said he would love to go back. It was the best place he has ever visited. Maybe one day I can go as well

m i s s . t e a said...

ooh im going to visit at the end of the year- the streets look pretty crazy, but in a good way. im so bad at charading hahaha but thanks for the tips xx misstea & co.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Ha! Well at least you eventually figured it out?

You're reminding me that I need to brew some coffee soon, I'm definitely craving it this morning.

SomeoneLikeYou said...

When I went to China, it was very similar in the aspect of how skilled the people are on bikes. They could carry things as large as dressers on the back!

And thank you so much for dropping by my blog!

lisa is cooking said...

Good to know how to order ice! Sounds like a fun experience with good, strong coffee.

Joanne said...

well, if balance is required for getting along in Vietnam then I'd better start practicing some yoga!

Catherine said...

Great story. Enjoy! Thank you for your visit to my blog and leaving a kind comment. Blessings, Catherine

mirjam schuurkamp said...

Amazing photos babe!:) looks so GREAT!
thanks for the comment babe

New outfit post-Your boyfriend gave me this tshirt
www.mirfashion.blogspot.com

~KawaiiParadise~ said...

Hi there, thank you for such sweet comment on my blog. Your blog inspire me to travel. I come from Vietnam so this make me miss my hometown (I'm from Ho Chi Minh city though). I'm glad you have a good time ^^
~Charlotte

Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi said...

I have to admit I'm not much of a coffee fan, however I'm always mesmerised by the way they drive around on motorbikes and mopeds in Asia without a care in the world. I travelled for 6 months in India on the back of a motorbike and loved it! Half the fun is getting lost in translation!

Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said...

Definitely nuclear strength coffee - and the sugar hit from the condensed milk is the extra turbo charge. My most memorable Vietnamese coffee was on the Mekong - from one of those little floating cafes. But i'm pretty sure the water is straight from the Mekong. Tasty Mekong water.

That's Ron said...

yeah the coffee is definitely strong, Hanoi , although a busy town, it was quite nice with heaps of attractions