Breathing the city / by Marek Charytonowicz

I’m sitting in a small coffee shop in some small street in the middle of the Old District. I have no idea where exactly I am but it’s a good feeling, getting lost in a maze of this tiny streets and finding the familiar directions again. The coffee is great here, served hot or iced, with yoghurt or fluffy egg white, with deep rich flavor. Vietnam knows its coffee well.

Around shops selling random stuff, from fabric paint to revolution posters with so familiar red background and yellow star in the middle. Smoke is coming out of roadside kitchens surrounded by plastic stools serving popular noodles and spring rolls. People are going with their daily business.

I should probably do some proper sightseeing, visit some museums, temples, but to be honest I’m happier sitting here or walking the streets and taking in all the city vibe and daily chaos. For me that says more about the place than things I can see and read about in guides, still it’s good to know a bit but Lonely Planet is doing a great job, I bit too good one might say as there’s a risk of following the guide only and missing some interesting things. I think I’ll be better at the end of my trip once I’m familiar with the culture more but that’s always the case, isn’t it?