“I’ll have a sandwich and whatever he’s having,” says the man above me in a joking manner.
“Please, sit down and enjoy the day with me,” I reply.
It never fails when traveling. You’re going to meet people from all walks of life. Across from me sits an Englishman called David. David has been living in Saigon for over seven years and has no reason to return to Manchester. He is a man with plenty of life experience, and he is an excellent storyteller. He’s a bit blue when he talks, almost sad, but his stories always end on a positive note...usually.
David gets scammed.
“I tried to explain to the club owner what happened and how I was set up at the other bar. The club owner gets five or so big blokes, they tie me up with rope, put me on a scooter and drive me outside of Saigon. Then they kicked the shit out of me.”
David fights the work bully.
“I can’t get my arms out of my jacket to fight back, and he’s just beating the fuck out of me, mate. Eventually I get my jacket off, and I’ve never been in a fight before, just six months of movement and hitting the mitts. Mate, once I was out of my jacket, I beat the fuck out of him. I had never been in a real fight before. I was almost shocked that training for six months had done something. He never bullied me again.”
David and the mafia.
“I have him in a headlock, sipping my beer, and waiting for England to score a last-second goal, when I feel a machete come down on my arm, and then another wack to the other arm. Blood is squirting. No one is helping me. No one. It dawns on me I’m fighting with a mafia member.”
We trade off some more stories before David says his hangover isn’t bothering him anymore. I order another banh mi and coffee while young backpackers slam their brunch shots of Jameson and pints of Guinness.
I’m surprised to find out that David paid for my meal without telling me. I never saw him again. I hope he’s creating more happy-ending stories wherever he may be.