I have to tell you about this dream I had:
I'm walking home from Ben Thanh market after fabric shopping. I'm in the middle of a thought: "Should I see if our fried rice stand is open (many businesses are finally open today because it is the "lucky 3rd" after Tet) or should I just stop and get Falafel..."
That's my thought in the dream. And then, it's weird, because I hear my name - just like I often think I hear my name in real life here...but whenever I turn I find it's someone speaking a Vietnamese word...not my name at all. So in the dream I carry on, thinking it's just a Vietnamese word that someone is yellling.
But then I hear it again. I look up and across the street.
It's Alice, and she's jumping up and down in front of the New World Hotel, waving her hands and yelling my name.
I'm really surprised. I cross the street and she is saying, "Marjie! I can't believe it's you! I just bought you a present at Ben Thanh and I was going to give it to you tomorrow, but here you are! Come in! Come in!"
I walk in and she ushers me to a table where her sister sits with a bottle of wine and three glasses. Jessica is visiting from Italy with her boyfriend; they help run Rafael's family's Italian restaurant near Verona. They - Alice's whole family - know how to live the good life, so that is why the two of them are here enjoying a bottle of wine at the NWH (they have just been shopping at BT, too).
Before I sit, Alice hands me a white bag that says "Coach." I look inside and this is what I find:
It's a stunning bag. The bag of my dreams.
I'm going to summarize this dream so far: for perhaps the second time this school year, I have Nam take me to Ben Thanh right after school. After shopping, I am walking home rather aimlessly, thinking about food, when out of nowhere, I hear my name called and am invited into a swanky hotel, offered a glass of wine and am given an exquisite Coach bag.
But the dream does not end there. After an hour of wine, a thought occurs to Alice. "Oh! Marjie! Rafael is making pizza at home! Can you come?!" (Remember, Alice is the drama girl at school, that is why all of her statements have exclamation points.)
Can I come?
We take a cab to District 2 and we go into their French Colonial home (with an outdoor garden dining area- her parents teach at another international school in Saigon) and the house smells like Italy. Jessica and Rafael have brought canned tomatoes from their family farm and he has made five pizzas: eggplant (that has been sliced thinly, coated with flour and fried), gorgonzola cheese, margherita, pepperoni, and caper/olive. A fresh salad is on the table, as is wine and cheese and Pellegrino. It's unbelievably good pizza.
Yep, there you have it. My dream. But the really strange thing is that I have this exquisite Coach bag sitting right here in front of me. What do you make of it?