Walking along the shores of Puget Sound at Lincoln Park (surely among the most postcard-perfect spots on the earth, with water lapping at the beach, ferries gliding by, and the Olympic mountains in the distance.) Good friends, grocery stores filled with shelves - not of chicken feet and mystery meat - but with Cheerios and Snickers, Flat Iron steaks, tortillas, sour cream, and good ol' Campbell's tomato soup to slurp on a chilly winter's day (oh, wait, alas none of those anymore here in tropical Ho Chi Minh City).
Streets with traffic lights that are... OMG, *obeyed* (what a concept!), orderly crosswalks, cars and trucks that seldom honk, and motorcycles - a stray rarity. Sidewalks, now there's a purely genius invention - set aside for PEDESTRIANS (uh, so as to avoid risking life and limb by ambling in the street), not filled with (weird and mystical) vegetables, motorbike helmets and "Hello Kitty" T-shirts splayed out to within an inch of the curb.
Not to mention... cashiers, sales staff, bus and taxi drivers alike - that speak... (woa!) a language I can ACTUALLY understand!
Heaven I tell ya. I left H.E.A.V.E.N. behind in Washington State.
Ah but all that doesn't matter now, 'cuz yesterday I found the one thing - the most beloved and missed thing that I'd been lamenting the loss of from my familiar life back in the U.S. of A.
(wait for it...)
Yep, I confess. I've been a second-hand store addict for most my life. Indeed. Raised two equally depraved Goodwill junkies who haunt thrift shops to this day. It's the ultimate "green" recycle after all. And I can't even remember when I last paid more than $6 for a pair of designer jeans.
I seriously doubted that second-hand clothing shops like the Goodwill existed here in Asia. But yesterday whilst whizzing home from the gym on the back of Hang's motorbike, I casually asked if there was such a thing here in Saigon. "Sure," she replied, "dozens of such shops - a whole street of them - in District 3, we can go there now if you like."
Uh, yes Hang. "I like".
So off we zoomed and... long story short? We soon found ourselves pawing through racks of clothes. And not just the bitty Vietnamese duds that I can barely get over my hips. We're talkin' designer duds - wealthy expat cast-offs - all freshly laundered at "negotiated" prices. I wish I'd had my camera/iPod handy to show you pics, but suffice I snagged this sweet confection for about $5.
Yep. That settles it. Now that I've found an outlet for my "Goodwill" lust, I can surely be happy here in Asia for many years to come!