Cruise trip. Thanks for the best memories!

Cruise trip. Thanks for the best memories!

I had a work meeting this morning. We had a very lively discussion about AI and generative AI. I am also very interested in AI models, and I would like to create something by using AI myself someday. I thought so.

After lunch, today was the day to meet Lily! I was so happy that this day finally came. She is a super morning person, waking up at 6:00 a.m. and going to yoga everyday! So we always agreed to meet at 8:00 AM! But lately I’ve been getting up around 12:00 or so. I really wish I could fix my circadian rhythm, but I always end up turning her down and rescheduling many times… I’m really sorry, but we finally agreed to meet this afternoon! Thank you so much!



I ride bike to the church where we meet.



Arrive at the church! This place seems to be a tourist attraction.


The church was pink in color and clearly different from the surrounding buildings. Is this a Catholic church? I don’t know, but it really gave me a sense of artistic architecture. I was at this place taking pictures with my Sony Alpha 6400 that I brought with me.

Then she came! She seemed so easy-going and cheerful. I could really tell that in our Instagram chat, and she really is. Her house was close by and she came here by foot.

We walk around the outside of the church for a bit and have a few exploratory conversations with each other. She told me that she is currently studying marketing at an international university. She told me that she was studying English as her main language and that she was studying other languages. I wondered if I was going to go inside the church, but instead she was going to show me around the city.



We went to a nearby market! Her camera is super cute!

I felt that she was very suited to be a “tourist guide. She never stopped talking, telling me what this place was like and when it was built. She has studied marketing, so I really felt her power to communicate and introduce products.



Clothing section of the market


When we arrived at the market, it was just like any other place we had seen in Da Nang. There were tons of fabrics and clothes being sold in one row. Of course, not only that, but there were many women sitting on the floor, just like in a bazaar. She said she often shops here, and the prices are much cheaper than in shopping malls. They also sold crabs, dried shrimp, fruits and vegetables, and it really looked like a market.



Vegetable stand at the market


But it was always very humid and hot inside the market. But I asked her to take my picture here. The camera she was holding was a very old Fujifilm camera, developed around 2005. The probability of Japanese people owning such a camera is about 0.007%, and it is called a “digital camera”. If you want to describe retro, it’s a film camera, but nowadays it’s a smartphone, and if you want high quality, it’s a digital SLR. I hadn’t seen a “digital camera” in a while, so I thought it was really cute.

Apparently, she said that “digital cameras” are “a bit retro” and she likes that. I thought that was really nice, too. I got a digital camera as a birthday present a long time ago, when I was in the 6th grade, I think. I think this is a wonderful thing about Vietnam.



Go to a record store and play Taylor’s music there.

While we were walking, we saw a record store and decided to go there. The manager of the store is a fan of Taylor’s, and there were so many albums. I was also surprised to find a record with Lana Del Rey’s autograph on it. I couldn’t believe that they also sold cassette tapes. The store was very retro, which I liked, and they were playing Taylor’s Welcome to NewYork. She also seems to love Taylor Swift, especially the song “Maroon”. But I had no idea about it. I played the song on a nearby piano.



Lots of records!



And Lana Del Rey records.


I was still very hesitant to play because I was still looking at it through the Japanese common sense “even if there is a piano, you are not allowed to play it without permission, there are rules there” with colored glasses. This is really painful. I can’t wait to get over this.



It was hot, so we took a break at a cafe.

After leaving the market, we decided to go walking. She loves to get up really early in the morning and then go to yoga every day. And that is a 15 minute drive away. It was unbelievable. So she was so cheerful, so energetic, so radiant. That’s how I felt. I felt that she was able to stabilize her mentality through yoga. So I thought, “Maybe I should try yoga, too. I felt on my skin that she was mentally stable.

It was drizzling rain, so she led me to her house. She said she lives with three people now. She brought me an umbrella because there was an umbrella there. So we decided to take a walk with the umbrella. She really knows her way around her neighborhood and showed me around. She is a second-year college student and often comes to the café to do her homework or to work on something with her friends. She also said that there is a record store nearby and the university is close by, so it is very convenient. And she moved to HCMC when she is a college student. I felt, “That’s exactly the same as me!” I moved to Osaka when I was a college student, too.



On the terrace of a cafe


We were at a cafe and I ordered a coconut coffee and she ordered some kind of milk coffee. It was pouring outside. It had been sunny until then, but suddenly it was pouring. It was unbelievable. The wind was blowing the hanging curtain like thing towards us. There was a lot of rain on our table. We still chose the terrace. The terrace was on the second and third floors and was empty. Of course, it was hot because the air conditioner was not working, but we still chose this terrace. I heard that she also likes the terrace. What I felt here was that many Japanese women would choose to go inside if it was raining and strong winds were blowing water onto the table, but Vietnamese women do not care about such a small thing. I felt the difference between the Japanese and Vietnamese mindset here as well. I thought this was also funky and nice.

We had so much to talk about on the terrace. I first talked about my adventures. She can speak English fluently because she has been studying English for 11 years since she was 8 years old. That’s why she was so interested in foreign countries. She would ask me, “Which country has the best food? S France, of course lol, I said. She also asked me the reason with great interest.

It seems that many of her friends are cosmopolitan, one studying in the EU and one traveling to India. I was surprised to hear that there are not many safe places for women to live in India. I heard that there are many Vietnamese who travel alone with a PC like me, but it is difficult because of visa problems and, above all, environmental issues.

However, she would like to travel around the world in the future, and she would especially like to go to Sweden alone. There is a beautiful lake there, and she would like to spend time there. I thought it was really wonderful that she had such a dream when she was a sophomore in college, because in my sophomore year, I was a total garbage man. Every day I went to class, slept through boring lessons, and did something on the computer in the library during the day. Of course I was studying English and Russian, but I was not thinking about the future.

I thought it was amazing that she had such a dream in her second year of college. Besides, she doesn’t know what she wants to do in the future at this stage. But of course she does, and now is the time to find it, I said! That’s what we were talking about. By the way, I really felt great energy from Lily. I could imagine her working in marketing and traveling around the world. I am sure she will be.

Besides, we told about Tinder. She started Tinder two weeks ago and hasn’t looked at it much lately because she’s been busy. She told me that many of her friends and acquaintances around her were crying because they dated boys they met on Tinder. Tinder is an app for one-night stands or friends with benefit, so it’s hard to find friends. But we told each other that we were very happy to find good and substantial friends in this way. We originally met for a photo session! I mean, we were going to do a photoshoot together. And we actually took each other’s pictures. I thought it was a lot of fun.

I asked her about her personality type. Apparently, she is an “ENTP”. Seriously! I have never met an ENTP in my life, I am an ENFP, but she is an ENTP, so I immediately went online to find out what her personality is like. She used to be shy and didn’t like to talk to people. But then she thought to herself, “If I stay like this, I’m missing out on a lot of great opportunities, and this is not good enough.” I understand so much! I was exactly the same way. After being bullied in high school, I became distrustful of people, and even in college, I carried that distrust with me and had a hard time talking to people. But after meeting someone overseas, I realized that I would have missed out on many opportunities if I had been like this, and I strongly felt that I did not want to have any regrets, and here we are today. We were really similar to each other. She loves communication and meeting people. But she is shy and introverted. We were exactly the same.



Talking on the terrace during the storm lol


The conversation turned to Japan. She seems to be a big sushi lover and came to Japan last year! That was a surprise. I heard that she joined a tour and came to Japan for a week. I thought that was amazing. I asked her how she liked Japan, and she replied, “Modern”. Hey, just one word! lol. I asked her how she thought Japanese people compared to Vietnamese people, and she replied, “Shy,” “reserved,” and “low key. Exactly the same opinion as mine. They felt that many Japanese are reserved and quiet. Even from a foreigner’s point of view, I think they feel the same way. In Japan, people are brought up by parents who educate them in various ways and value “humble” so they are really modest and precise. On the other hand, I heard from a Dutch friend that Europeans such as the Dutch are the complete opposite: they are very assertive and overconfident. So, I learned once again the importance of the environment, that even though we are the same people, we can change so much depending on the place and environment.

I also heard that she had studied Japanese for 3 months at university, but quit because it was too difficult. I understand how she feel! Even I find it difficult sometimes. So now, apparently, she is interested in French…!

She told me that she does yoga. I had one question: “You said you try to talk to people as much as possible, but won’t you burn out if you talk all the time?” But apparently, she goes to yoga every morning, so she goes to yoga every day to get mentally prepared and reset herself every day, so she doesn’t have that problem.

That was a great discovery for me. I am reminded of how much meditation and yoga affect our mentality and how they have a positive impact on us. I will try yoga when I have a chance.

After all this, we decided to have dinner.



Dinner is at street food!

We decided to have street food for dinner! We went to the restaurant we had originally planned to go to, but they didn’t have rice or any other rice type food, so we decided to eat street food! We went to a street food stall we found while touring the city!

I order chicken rice and she orders pork rice. Interestingly, the stall offered free tea. That was another surprise. The tea was very Vietnamese and tasty. They also offered a hand towel, but when I opened it, I was told it cost 30 yen. That’s a lot of money! But the quality was definitely better than in Japan, and it smelled really good.



Chicken Griller


As for the taste of the meal, it was very good. The presentation was not very beautiful, but the taste was still very good. Apparently, they put fish sauce on top of the rice, which was a first for me. The smell was not very nice, but I thought it was not bad to eat it over rice. To be honest, I would say that the fish sauce was delicious as well.



Street food!


Perhaps because we love cameras, we enjoyed taking pictures and videos of the street food being prepared. I was very embarrassed because I don’t usually do this kind of thing, but I felt that there was nothing wrong or strange about taking pictures. I still have my Japanese common sense about this part, and I have seen things like “taking pictures without permission is an invasion of privacy” and “many people are uncomfortable when their picture is taken (because they are shy)”, so I guess I still had that in me. Shit. I will get over it again. It was really a firsthand experience of how “common sense in Japan is insane abroad” in this foreign country. Everyone went out of their way to make it easy for me to take pictures, move their body, and bring me meat. I really felt kindness, tolerance, and above all, freedom.



It was the best!


While we were eating, we talked about language. I told her that Vietnamese is really hard to pronounce and that I couldn’t even remember the names of the menu or the food. She asked me to speak French and Russian, so I spoke Russian and French. I also thought she was a good listener. She says what they are looking for at the right time. She was just like the hotel staff at the Ritz-Carlton.

I showed Lily some of the foods I had eaten during my travels in Vietnam and asked her if she liked them. Do you know this? Do you like it? I asked her a lot of questions. Lily also told me that she didn’t like kinda looks bitter melon, or the berries of some Vietnamese home-style dish lol. It was really the same.

She always seems to eat only a light meal like noodles for dinner, and I guess she never usually eats such a hearty meal, or she was so full that she couldn’t eat it in the middle of the meal lol.

Finally, I gave her my business card with a message. I also said the same thing: “If you build a space hotel, this will be your invitation” lol.



After dinner, we wandered around the city.

The truth is that today she has a class at 8:00 p.m. She usually teaches English to various people as an English teacher on online. But she rescheduled it and made it a priority to spend time with me. I was really happy about that. I was really happy that she went out of her way to reschedule her classes and spend time with me.

As we were walking through the city, we came to an intersection with a lot of motorcycles coming and going. She holds my hand and assists me through the dangerous pedestrian crossing. There is no pedestrian crossing, but a pedestrian crossing in the middle of the street. Vietnamese people cross there normally.



Night traffic rush



The amount of motorcycles is bad.



People selling lottery tickets on the street


I remember when I was in middle school. The scene where the student who crossed the street without a pedestrian crossing on his bicycle was being slapped on the cheek or punched and yelled at by the baseball team advisor. I really thought that teacher was a trashy son of a bitch. I want to say to him once again now. “Come to Vietnam, you son of a bitch.” I thought that kind of teacher is a poison, crushing students’ dreams, taking away pure children’s dreams, and making them “modest”. Hmm? You said he did that to protect the kids? No, no. He’s just an adult who is bound by the rules because he was badly educated by his teachers and parents in the past. He’s just pushing them on his students. I think so. Children are human beings, too. It is the role of parents to protect their children, but I don’t like to say “because they are children.” They are all human beings. Even children should be responsible for their own actions, not controlled by parents.



We go to the bookstore!

The first thing that surprised me was. In Vietnamese bookstores, if you enter with a tote bag, you are either made to leave it in a locker or tied with a band. This is despite the fact that there is a security system at the door that sets off an alarm. So I think this is interesting too. She also told me that I could immediately sense how good the Vietnamese are at stealing something.



Tote bag tied with ties


The bookstore had books in English and all sorts of other things. Basically, Vietnamese bookstores sell stationery and toys together, which I guess is modern.

We looked at a variety of books, and she introduced us to many books with great interest. One of the interesting things we learned was that in Vietnam, before buying a house, people consult a fortune teller, and if the result is negative, they do not buy a house, but if the result is positive, they buy a house. If it is negative, they don’t buy a house, but if it is positive, they buy a house. The book was for sale. Of course, she said she would buy it when she wanted to buy it. That’s good lol.

She also introduced me to a book for children and a book about the last queen when Vietnam had a royal family.


Di はベトナム語でビッチらしい

Di is Vietnamese for bitch, apparently.


I learned another Vietnamese language. So far I only knew two, hello (sin chao) and thank you (cam ung), but I learned one more from her. Di (bitch), apparently. Well, very interesting.

She also loves to read books, and to my surprise, she had read “Sapiens” and a book about Elon Musk! This was a surprise. I told her that I also have a book about Euron Musk and that I had read this book. The conversation turned to physics. And then to space hotels. I shared with her that I have a dream to build a space hotel in the future. If I ever make it, my business card will be your invitation ticket! I said this once again, and we did a finger-snap joke. It had been a long time since we had done that. It was nice to be childlike like this. Once again, I felt the beauty of children.



Lily looking at Vietnamese textbooks



Go for the sweets! Cab to the other restaurant.

We took a cab to a restaurant famous for its sweets. Lily tried her best to find it. She wondered where the restaurant was. She even went to the trouble of calling her friend. Thank you so much. All I could do was thank her.

In the cab on the way to the restaurant, I felt really sleepy and fell asleep. I woke up at 10:00 a.m. today and was tired from not having slept much. Lily woke me up when we arrived at the restaurant and we decided to go together.



Peach-flavored, tofu-filled dessert


I ordered a peach-flavored dessert with sticky tofu inside. It was really delicious. I felt like I was eating a delicious version of shaved ice, and the tofu was sticky, something you cannot experience in Japan. I really loved it. Lily kept ordering durian drinks. I didn’t know it was durian, so I took a sip, but at that point I couldn’t do it. The smell was too strong. But she seemed to like durian and ate and drank it normally, which I thought was great.



Me eating a fried roll


ベトナムのFried rollも食べた

I also had Vietnamese Fried rolls.


I was getting hungry, so I also ordered fried rolls, three for 35,000 dong (about 200 yen). This was apparently a vegetable roll with each of the ingredients on top and served with soy sauce. It was also really tasty. I loved it too.

Let’s move on to the cruise. Apparently, there is a cruise ship cruising around Ho Chi Minh City, and it only costs 15,000 dong (90 yen) per person. So we had no choice but to take it. So we headed there. Now the fun cruise begins!

During the cab ride, I fall asleep again.



Buy tickets and enter the ship! Beginning of the boat trip!

Arriving by cab near the ticket booth, we decided to buy our tickets. To our surprise, they were 15,000 VND per person, and the round trip cost 60,000 VND (360 yen) for two people. I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it.

We got our tickets and went near the boat, which was leaving at 9:00 p.m., so the gate wasn’t open yet. We went to the gate and took some pictures nearby. Today was the day when I could see my digital SLR at its best, and my film camera at its best. We really took a lot of pictures. I think it’s great when someone loves photography as much as she does.



Taken near the ship!



Have my picture taken near the ship!


To my surprise, there was a group of four Japanese people nearby. I had not seen Japanese people for a long time. They were all Japanese.

It was time to go, so we went to the boat dock! Surprisingly, there were almost all tourists and not many Vietnamese. We wanted to sit on the outside, but there were so many people sitting on the bare deck that we decided to sit inside. I said I hope I don’t get seasick, Lily got tired and said I’ll close my eyes for a bit lol.

And off we go! Finally, at 21:00, the boat leaves! 15 minutes to the port over there! We’re going to have fun!



The view of Saigon at night was fantastic. It was a really great night.

We decided that staying inside would be boring, so we decided to go outside. The wind feels so nice. It smells a little bit like the sea. It was so nice. We took pictures and chatted with each other as the wind blew. It was a very enjoyable time.



On the terrace of the ship! The wind feels so nice~!



While being told it’s dangerous! Playing Titanic lol


Lily seemed to love dangerous and risky things, and I was exactly the same way. So we really hit it off, too.

The boat going through the waves. The water was very dirty, but looking up, there were beautiful stars, and looking forward, there were many beautiful buildings. It was really beautiful. I took a lot of pictures.



On the terrace of the ship!



Then we arrived at the wharf! The stay is 10 minutes!

To our surprise, the next boat was leaving in 10 minutes, so we had no time to stay at all. But we took a walk and took some pictures together by the river. As we were getting off the boat, there were people waiting for the next boat and we were going to be on that boat. So it was already bad lol. But it was so beautiful there, so we took a lot of pictures and enjoyed looking at the scenery together.



The tallest building in Southeast Asia



Walking by the river


And soon we run and go to the dock. Soon we get on the boat and change back the way we came. Ten minutes was too short a stay! Time was flowing like the wind. On the return boat ride, the scenery was different again. The huge buildings were shining beautifully. We had a really good memory and shared a lot of fun. Besides, this was Lily’s first time on this boat. I had no idea that she had lived here for a year and had never used it.



Lily and the Skyscraper


Lily is going to start her semester tomorrow, and she is not happy about it lol. She says that studying at the university is very hard, and although she only has classes three times a week, she has a lot of homework, assignments, and research to do. I really wish her the best of luck, though.

After that, the boat arrived safely. The 15 minutes really flew by. I really enjoyed the time we spent together. I never thought the night would come like this.

We arrived at the dock and sat down on a bench. She looked very sleepy and asked me if I wanted to go home. I am actually super sleepy too. So we both decide to leave.



Lily! Thank you!!!


I say, “I already miss you.” I can’t believe I spent such an intense day with her. I wish I had met her a little earlier so I could have enjoyed it more. But because we met 2 days before I left Vietnam, there is more interesting drama, more emotions, and more memories. We hugged and thanked each other. She said “Follow your dream” to me. I say “Follow your dream” back to her. And I tell her thank you and “I will never forget this memory”. After that, we called our bikes and went back to our respective homes.