We’re sitting in the restaurant/bar at the Saigon International Airport, waiting for our plane to Phu Quoc Island. We’re going to be staying there for seven days. I can’t wait. Our bags are bulging with souvenirs, including two pith helmets for Ben & Ben (green with star), two oil paintings (one framed, one rolled in a plastic tube), a china and bamboo tea set, some more china plates and bowls and spoons (for two), at least three chopstick sets, six or seven t-shirts, a host of tailored clothes, three lanterns, two fans, four or five scarves, a lacquered box, two silk sleeping bag liners, four hats, four new pairs of shoes, and a colour picture of Ho Chi Minh that I intend to frame and hang on the wall, in the manner of the people in Hoi An.
There are also: two wall hangings, a blanket, a couple of bags, an opium pipe, a wooden statue, a bag of silk, two tiger balms, an embroidered tablecloth, one and a half kilograms of weasel-poo coffee, a couple bags of tea, three stainless steel coffee drip cups, two pancake pans, one large (55l) backpack, one book of old Vietnamese stamps two tubes containing at least five propaganda posters, a set of drink coasters, one chinese-made casio watch, one pair sunglasses, several postcard packs, two lacquered photo albums, cinnamon toothpick holder (x1), and one regular toothpick holder, a kitchen set including multi knife, crinkle cut knife and a grater/peeler, one mouth harp, two nose flutes, two wooden cut stamps, two books, eight CDs, four DVDs, and a bottle of flammable corn wine from Bac Ha market. Oh, and one silk (maybe) kimono. And all still under our baggage limit!
P.S. also knitting needles, hair clips, buffalo horn salad tongs and horn hair pins.