And I didn’t know I will be returning to Vietnam for a second trip. This time round, it is a business trip at Danang. The traffic that filled with the constant honking continues to amaze me.
Seeing how a roadside chic juice store operates along an esplanade is even more amazing. Here’s a picture of it:
“Let’s do what the locals do,” I suggested to my colleague.
And we proceeded to one of the “front row” seats located outside the store.
The first thing that attracted me about the cafe was that where possible, everyone who was patronising the store sat facing the road and the river bank, oblivious to the air pollution and noise pollution. The seats and tables were small and arranged neat rows in the tightest possible configuration to fit in as many customers as they could. All seats were arranged facing the road and the river.
There were actually a couple of such cafes located all along the road. Some selling fruit juice but majority selling coffee. And only coffee. No snacks, just tea and coffee. The seats were almost always small, almost always arranged in a way such that you could look outside.
For this particular one, it comes with its own valet service manned by a team of six to eight young men!
They were extremely organised in my opinion. From observations, I believe they have split themselves into three teams:
The first team comprises the person who I perceived as the team leader, along with another would proactively call out to customers, ON BIKES, on the roads, to ask them to enjoy a drink in the store.
The second team will mark the bikes with chalk and safe-keep the keys for the customers.
The third team will ride the bikes to a parking space just behind the store.
The amazing thing was that business is extremely good! Every 2 minutes or so, the team will be able to attract business into the store. I wouldn’t have thought that such service could work.
Sometimes, interested customers may end up on the opposite side of the road, facing difficulty to ride across the other side of the road against the crazy Vietnam traffic. The team would then cross the road to help the customers to handle their bike.
Talk about personalised service!
I don’t think I ever saw such modus operandi in running a roadside cafe. It was an eye opening experience for me.
I don’t do a lot of shopping or eating or massaging when I’m travelling although I do enjoy a bit of touristy stuff once in a while. What I enjoy most is to learn the culture and observe how locals live their daily life. Another way to describe things, to “soak myself in local colours”.
Do you soak yourself in local colours too?