I got lots of colours
look Madam! "
Not just now, thanks.
The Continental Hotel proudly displays its European heritage. The facade is creamy white and adorned with flower boxes. It's well patronised by wealthy visitors and its reputation in literature is well known. Graham Greene set his novel "The Quiet American" here and it was more recently made into a Hollywood movie.
The Hotel stands ornate and proud on the same open square that boasts the beautiful Opera House (now the Municipal Theatre). It doesn't muck around though, guests here pay for the privilege of breathing its air - it's like being at Piazza San Marco in Venice, you will need hundreds of dollars to eat here even a coffee will set you back more than ten dollars.
I stand and gaze at the beautiful Opera House. The gardens on each side feature statues of artists a violinist on one side, a dancer on the other.
I hear a voice
"Madam - be careful of your bag, there are pickpockets all around in Saigon
A kindly looking fellow speaks to me He pauses
"Where are you from?"
He smiles warmly
"Australia but I'm a Kiwi"
"Ah! New Zealand!" then
"I can show you around you can take photos just for an hour come with me, Madam?"
I don't think so.
"Just leave your bike here with me and I'll look after it until you get back".