The VW, squid, and a game called Xiu Tai
Nha Trang Travel Blog› entry 60 of 126 › view all entries
One night last week a 1968 orange and white Volkswagen van rolled up to the Alamo Bar. The Bavarian driving it looked for a place to open shop for a few days - his VW had been converted into a mobile bar and entertainment center. The top opened like the lid of a coffin and at least one side hinged level to make the bar top. I had seen them before in Thailand and Australia but this one drove up from Saigon. The concept seemed brilliant. A few days later, rumor had the VW set up by the port area. I pedaled out there hoping to enjoy a street-side beer but there were no Volkswagens to be seen in the parking lot or on the street.
On the way back to town I detoured into meter-wide alleyways to see where they went.
Once the curiosity of my presence faded, a gathered crowd of children and adults went back to a dice game called Xiu Tai. The 'board', a black mat rolled out in the alley, was divided into halves and had a series of numbers across the top. Parents fronted 'lucky' kids to place hefty bets. Even 100,000 VN Dong notes changed hands. A little girl of four or five shook dice in a tea cup. My hosts paid for my two beers and the squid. The woman running the place handed me a toothpick and I pedaled home.