HCMC Dining Guide

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


People always say that speaking a foreign language is easier when you're drunk. I don't know what cognitive abilities alcohol opens up, but for the most part this maxim holds true. Of course, if you attempt to learn any new words in the given language in this state you will forget everything the next morning, but the conversations up until then are amazing.

Last night a couple of buddies and I decided to go out and drink lots of beer for no real reason. We started out with dinner at JJ's, a new Singaporean-run churrascaria on Pham Ngu Lao that is currently running a ridiculous deal on its buffet of freshly grilled meats. This was a very manly start to the night, with hardly a vegetable in sight.

We then decided to take a taxi to a German brewhouse on Nguyen Du. This is one of the easiest streets in the city to pronounce. 'Du' basically sounds like 'you'. However, for some bizarre reason, the taxi driver didn't understand us.
We would say: "Pasteur and Nguyen Du."
"Nguyen Dinh Cheiu?"
"No, Nguyen Du."
"...Nguyen Dinh Cheiu?"

This went on for another minute or so until we decided to just give up and give him street by street directions on how to get there. I'm still perplexed by this one.

Then, a couple of hours and quite a few German beers later, we hopped into another taxi to head to Broma. I was pretty sloshed by this point, and since I was in the front seat I decided to fire up a Vietnamese conversation with the driver.

"How are you?" This question seemed to surprise him, and he laughed and responded that he was fine.
Then he asked how I was:
"Good. I'm drunk."
Another laugh. "Only you?"
"Ah, no. We're all drunk. We've been drinking German beer."
"German beer! Vietnamese love German beer!"
"Do you like Vietnamese beer?"

There wasn't any depth to the conversation beyond that, but I got out of the taxi in a state of elation. The brief conversation had been fluid, and neither one of us had to ask the other to repeat anything. Why can't I do that more often? A lot of the time I get so nervous that I fail to respond to even basic questions in Vietnamese. Maybe I just need to be drunk all the time? Not exactly my idea of fun though.

Anyway, the night ended after a half-baked attempt to reach the helipad attached to the 52nd floor of the Bitexco Tower at 1:30am. I didn't even think the building would be open, but we strolled right through the automatic doors no problem. Amazingly, there was no security in sight. We got onto an escalator to get to the bank of elevators that goes to the upper floors, but right as we were reaching the top a guard appeared out of nowhere and told us to leave. The bar on 52 had closed at 10pm. There wasn't really any way around him, so we just turned around and left. Hey, at least we tried. (I should mention that the helipad isn't actually accessible, ever. The doors to it are always locked.)

1 comment:

  1. Haha Mike... totally know the feeling! Alcohol totally helps the words come out more easily.