I was at Makati two weeks ago for an appointment, it was a Thursday, February 27. I don’t even remember the last time or the most recent one I had Starbucks, and because I didn’t want to go home yet and be stuck in heavy traffic jam as it was already rush hour, I decided to spend some time at Starbucks People Support Bldg. in Ayala. I didn’t go to work just to attend this said appointment. That’s when I discovered this new beverage of Starbucks, there’s actually two: Caramel Macchiato and Hazelnut Macchiato. I decided to go with a cold Caramel Macchiato. I don’t usually order cold coffee but it just so happened that I was so thirsty.
I always enjoy reading magazines everytime I’m at any Starbucks, and that’s not so often. I always prefer to read the travel magazines, because I don’t have the luxury to buy them or even subscribe on a monthly basis. And when I do, I always get like two or three magazines to read, and the next thing I know, one or two hours have passed already. I forgot to bring along “The Deep Blue Sea” that day, I probably would have finished the book already if I brought it with me.
And the day was made even better, I was reading the October-November issue of Travelife magazine and saw this article titled “Dreams of Hoi An” by the editor herself. I don’t really read everything on the magazine, I just choose the ones that interest me; and this particular one really did. I immediately saw the quoted sentence beside a picture, “Make a wish, light the candle and let the lantern float down the river, “said a wizened old lady wearing a traditional comical hat. “Then it will certainly come true.” And I was just simply wowed with this simple yet powerful message from the lady from Hoi An. She held up a pink a paper lantern to my face, and looked at me with a hopeful toothless smile.
I find the picture of the lady really beautiful. It somehow speaks to me in ways I cannot fully explain. The way the lanterns she’s holding are glowing, her background with a boat and how she looks at the camera; everything just feels and looks like a bright sense of hope and peace to me. It’s just majestic. It striked me with the notion that the lady is someone of great wisdom, tranquility, hope, great experience, hard work, patience, simplicity, passion, dedication, love, and wonderful appreciation of the beauty of life. I feel like I wanna meet her.
I was definitely enamored with the place already, thanks to the lady in the picture. I just want to see this place, a place I have no idea whatsoever before reading this article. I feel like I want to see it much more than I want to see Hanoi. Definitely now one of my “must-see” list.
And in the article it said, Hoi An is one of the loveliest towns in Vietnam and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. My God, a UNESCO Heritage Site, I really have to see this beautiful place.
It used to be a trading port, and according to Wiki, it is an example of a well-preserved South-East Asian trading port from the 15th – 19th century. It’s a very unique heritage site clearly displaying a rich combination of both foreign and native influences in almost every corner. The article also mentioned just some of the must-see places in Hoi An, including the famed Japanese covered bridge, Museum of Say Huynh Culture, Hoi An Handicraft Workshop, sail on a swan boat and Quan Cong Temple.
And yes, one of the highlights of the article too was when the writer went to this shop and saw this painting. It was a painting of a Vietnamese lady on her back, seemingly in deep thought. There wasn’t a picture of the painting included in the article, but somehow I can imagine it in my head. The painter even offered the writer of this article a discounted price, this beautiful piece that he worked hard for in three days.