There’s this sad love song by Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand called “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”.
Don’t ask me why I know it. Seriously. I don’t know. Probably too much karaoke in my wayward, misspent youth?
In any case, the song opens with:
You don’t bring me flowers
You don’t sing me love songs
You hardly talk to me anymore
When you come through that door at the end of the day…
If only good ole Neil knew about the streetside rose vendors in Ho Chi Minh, he could’ve avoided all of Barbra’s sad nagging.
The city of Dalat, in the Central Highlands, is an oddity in Vietnam. Thanks to its high elevation, it enjoys year round cool temperatures (averaging 21-22 degrees C, as compared to 28 in Ho Chi Minh City). This means that it produces things that the rest of the country can’t: strawberries (smaller and not as sweet as the ones in the West), cauliflower (the “other” broccoli) and roses. Lots and lots of roses. Dalat flowers are even exported to neighboring (read: hot) Asian countries.
Did I mention they’re super cheap? 10 for VND 15,000 (USD $0.72). Yep, you read that right. 10 roses for just over 70 cents. Poor Neil. If he had only known, he could’ve sent Barbra roses every day for two months for the same price it would have cost to send a single bouquet of roses back home.
So, all you Vietnamese men out there. When your baby momma starts crooning, “You don’t bring me flowers”, simply head down to your friendly streetside rose seller and with the spare change in your pocket, your lady will soon be singing a different tune.