Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A suitcase filled with Saigon

One of my favourite pastimes in Saigon is sourcing curiosities.
Like a bowerbird, I select with care. 
This old wicker suitcase called out to me.
I was in love before I opened it...even more so when I did. 
The original paper is charming. 
I plan to use it to store my journals...
all 40 years of them.

Sourcing curiosities in Vietnam is an adventure, it takes you into
the back streets, back rooms and most interesting places. 
Vietnamese is the spoken word, English is used very little. 
When the owner of the shop motioned to me that he could replace 
the old paper with new, I was aghast. 

I looked at him..saying as clearly and slowly 
as I could "no, no, new... same, same". 
He smiled... "ok, ok". 

I have been here before, words often get lost in translation. 
I accept what arrives on my doorstep the next day. 
In this case...he understood.. "same, same".
I must remember that one... 

Photo by Jeanne Henriques


  1. Was the owner older? same same was one of those Viet/English phrases that were used often by Americans and Vietnamese to communicate during the war. I still use it, along with Choi oi! and Xin loi!

  2. You live in a treasure trove Jeanne. This is just beautiful. A great buy. Fx

  3. Dear Jeanne: I love that suitcase. I wonder if there were countless owners before you. Someone possibly traveling Enjoy your new found treasure, as I am sure you an exotic land. You now claim a rightful place as owner of this quaint suitcase. I agree for not changing out the paper. It adds charm and authenticity. I think your travel journals are very well suited in this case.

  4. I LOVE THIS! Whew. Thank goodness it arrived "as is."
    Shopping in Vietnam is so fantastic, Cambodia too as you know. I know that you are already a busy lady but it would be amazing to have an app of your addresses????