We were walking home and it was almost 1 am. There’s no denying we were both tipsy and lost. What Google maps had claimed was a 23-minute walk was now pushing 45 minutes.
In fact, our tipsiness was probably waning after burning it off on the long walk we had taken (there may have been a long loop of a lake that wasn’t intended).
As we reached one of the busier main roads a moped pulled up next to us and said something to Giang in Vietnamese. She said something back to him and then translated for me, “He just asked, did I want to hug him?”
Here we go, I thought. It was Saturday night, pub chucking out time. Giang was looking amazing and we were attracting the chancers. But nope, I was wrong. She started laughing and then explained the full story.
Moped taxis are a popular service here in Vietnam. The local name for them is apparently “Xe ôm” or a “hug taxi” because as he takes you to your destination you hug the driver to stay on tight. When the drivers are looking for new fares they go around asking people if they want to hug.
After realising I was being tricked by Giang we reluctantly turned him down, although it was tempting after walking for so long. The bikes don’t fit two passengers comfortably or safely and I’m sure my mother wouldn’t approve of such dangerous riding, so it was a no.
About 15 minutes later, after one more incorrect detour, we finally collapsed through the door and onto the bed for a well-earned sleep.
There is a happy ending though because as you can see from the cover photo, the next day Giang got her hug when she went off to visit family while I stayed behind here at Clickspace.