What do coffee and hammocks have in common? I found the answer to this question after we left Ben Tre en route to the biggest city in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho City. It would be a three-hour roadtrip. While others were asleep, I killed boredom through “people-watching.”
I peeked through the window of the coaster bus and let my eyes wander as street scenes unfold before me. Vietnamese love to take a rest at the hammocks after a good sip of coffee. Almost every cà phê (coffee shop) store that we passed by has hammocks, where people take a break and converse with their fellows.
The vehicle halted when the Israeli woman requested our tour guide, Anh for a toilet break. At last, I can stretch my legs and arms. Long rides can really be tiring even if you’re just seated. Anh said that we’re already in Cai Be, which is just an hour away from Can Tho City.
The stop-over was not at a gas station/convenience store but at a home-based coffee shop, which resembled our local carinderia in the Philippines.
Papa ordered cà phê (brewed coffee) while I ordered cà phê s?a nóng (brewed coffee with milk). It was interesting that they use filter for the coffee. It was more like an espresso considering the serving size. The taste was indeed strong.
When everyone was finished with the toilet break, we returned to the coaster bus to continue our journey to Can Tho City, where we will be spending the night.
I looked again at the window and realized the importance of coffee and hammock in the culture of the Vietnamese. After a long day of hard work in their farm lands, they take a break and socialize. Coffee and hammock meant socialization and relaxation. These answered my question.