I roam around Hanoi on my 125cc motorbike (Sylvia is her name) and alternate cafes for offices. Today’s office is actually called The KAfe. The crowd is a mixture of Vietnamese and expats. The blond wood is too hip and the cupcakes too Western for those came searching for Graham Green’s Vietnam.
The coffee is good. The internet speedy. The electrical outlets are accessible and the staff doesn’t seem to mind you are there all day. The minimum for a mobile foreign field office.
Lunch hour. Girls from the offices near by fills the blond wood cafe, their credentials dangle from lanyards around their neck. They sit, share a few things, order a colorful beverage and hang out until its time to return to their desks. They never order coffee. It is always a fruit infused tea, a shake, something blended, something cold. All I ever order is coffee. Short. Tall. Dry. Vietnamese black. Vietnamese with sweet condensed milk. Theirs is color-filled; an accent to the hour of leisure. Mine sucks the daylight from the room, fueling nimble fingers and clever sentence construction.
They kick off their shoes. Each and every one of them.
Their feet are bare under the table. The offending footwear sits near by, sometimes neatly, just under the seat, waiting. Sometimes helter-skelter like drunken Irish men on St. Patrick Day, do not disturb, I, too, am on my lunch break.
There is something sexy in the synchronicity of these barefooted office girls on their lunch hour.