We had set out from our hotel to find the Thanh Ha pottery village but after wandering about what was a cute fishing village I announced that I thought we were lost and we wouldn't be able to find the pottery. At this a local stopped and said "pottery" and set off waving his hand in the direction he was now striding. We followed a little nervously. We need not have bothered.
Our guide was "Jimmy Easyrider" he smilingly told us making the revving sounds and gestures of cranking up a motor bike! The village was an eye opener. We got to try but not too successfully as an old Viet grandmother worked the potters wheel with her foot. Jimmy took us to see a pottery Sydney Opera House!, kilns being fired, pots being mass produced, clay being prepared for working it was a very thorough tour.
We then left the village and went to his house were he proudly showed us the alter in honour of his mother and father. At this point we negotiated a trip back to Hoi An by boat. He took a stick and wrote 300,000 dong (about $15!), I countered with 200,000: we settled on 250,000. We walked on, met the skipper, donned floaties and climbed aboard. The trip back was worth every dong as we saw life on the river.
Jimmy just smiled. We realised he had four words of English:"Pottery" "Jimmy" "Easyrider" and a word that sounded like "boat"!
At the dock in Hoi An I gave him the 300,000 and will never forget the smile. Two hours of tour and boat ride for $7.50 per head. Make sure you visit the pottery village but make especially sure you say g'day to Jimmy Easyrider
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