So what did I miss most about being away from Viet Nam? The first and most obvious thing to me is the coffee. Coffee? Yep! The coffee anywhere else that I have been recently has been a weak and bitter facsimile of the strong and rich brew that is available here.
Apart from that, there were several mornings while travelling when I just could not wake up. I couldn’t work out why, even by mid morning or getting on to noon, I still felt as though I were on some type of stupefying drug. But I think that the fact is I was suffering from withdrawal of a drug, namely caffeine.
Its not that I drink so much coffee here, in fact I now restrict myself to two cups a day, maybe three if I go out somewhere. I also make it a rule to never drink coffee in the afternoons so that I can get to sleep of a night. But those two or maybe three cups a day must have the caffeine equivalent of twenty cups of your normal hotel coffees. Now that I’m back here and I can make my morning cup of “Weasel” coffee (I will write about this type of coffee one day) I find that I can wake up in the mornings and get on with what I’m doing.
Discovering that I am addicted to something, or at least reliant upon it, is scary for me but this is not the first time that coffee, or the lack of it, has had an impact on me physically. When I was working at Griffith University in Australia, for no reason I just stopped having my two morning cups of Nescafe for a couple of days. I found that by mid morning or lunch time I was suffering from massive headaches that Panadol would not cure. Yet again without thinking about it I staggered up to the Coffee Roaster Cafe on campus and had a double shot cappuccino and within two minutes my headache was gone. It was only upon reflection that I realised what had happened.
Now that my body seems to demand stronger than ever coffee I guess I am doomed to carry supplies of Viet Nam’s finest and a small dripolator with me wherever I go.
OK, time to head down to the corner of my hem for one of Kieu’s caphe da’s (black iced coffee).