One thing for sure about Saigon is that this joint is never dull. And of course straying off the tourist trail can present some most unusual encounters with the locals. I took my friend who had her first street food experience this week for yet another installment of sidewalk cuisine. She is already on the fence about eating anywhere other than a western oriented experience hermetically sealed away from the normal Vietnam experiences I seek.
At the Tan Dinh Market off Hai Ba Trung Street we were minding our own business over a light dinner of chè táo đỏ or super sweet ”tea” with tiny dried apples reconstituted in liquid. This is a “tea” in name only for chè can mean a sweet dish as well. Of course this maraschino cherry tasting iced concoction quickly became an afterthought as a random old lady served up some adult entertainment like I have never before seen.
Let me set the stage here, and I shall keep my friend nameless so as to protect the innocent (and mortified). My friend’s ample endowment was only amplified and accentuated by her form fitting top. This old woman became mesmerized by this sight and began gawking very obviously. Out of nowhere she grabbed a handful, lifted them and let gravity pull them back in place. Before my friend could react, grandma again latched both hands on, started bouncing both orbs together with some gusto all while chanting “wa wa wa wa wa wa.” My friend shoved her away, and a young girl told us in English to have respect for the elderly.
I told my friend to just ignore everyone throwing laughs our way, and that maybe they are just jealous. The young woman then said, “Old lady touch your lady melon have large baby water.” Translation…Your generously proportioned anatomical parts are much larger than ever before witnessed at this Vietnamese street food stall and therefore must harbor an immense quantity of liquid nourishment for babies that must be touched by elderly women for authentication purposes.
In any case, the sweet tea/drink/dessert/refreshment/whatever you want to call it hit the spot. I don’t even think Hooter’s gets this bizarre, and I’ll take this crazy sideshow any day over their hot wings and beer.