At some point after I have returned home, I am going to have to look for a new job.
Which means that I'm going to have to have job interviews for the first time in thirteen years.
Which means that I'm going to have to dress smart.
Here in Hoi An there is one major business. The creation and selling of clothes. You cannot walk more then 20 meters without being confronted by a tailors or a shoe shop. They are quite literally everywhere.
So in a nod to my future life, I've had a couple of suits made.
Intrepid had a recommended a couple of tailors, and I checked these out first. In the end I chose a smaller store named Blue Eye. They are a little more expensive then my next choice, but I just got a more professional vibe from them. Whereas the other stores raved about the range of fabrics and amount of styles they could make, the ladies from Blue Eye concentrated on showing me how they made the suits and how and why they do the stitching they do.
I had planned to get measured up earlier in the week, but being sick put paid to that. On Tuesday I ventured out into Town and made my way to the store where I was greeted warmly and presented with a couple of catalogues so that I could look at styles.
I decided on a standard business suit, and another which had slightly softer lines that is intended for both work and more social occasions.
After I'd chosen the style, it was time to choose the fabric.
This was surprisingly enjoyable. It was like playing with The Sims character creation tool in real life. The walls of the shop are shelved with hundreds of bolts of cloth in all sorts of colours and designs.
For my business suit, I chose a black cashmere with a thin light blue pinstripe running through it. I then chose matching blue silk lining.
For the other suit, I chose a light grey cashmere with a rich blue lining.
I also chose to get a couple of work shirts made at the same time.
Then we had to do the measurements.
I was led to another room containing a long mirrored wall. Here I was attended to by two woman who proceeded to measure me up.
At one point a third joined in, and I was stood staring into the mirror topless with arms outstretched, one woman wrapped around my leg, another on her knees at groin hight and another on a stool, with her measuring my neck from behind. My hair is going everywhere from the ceiling fan going full blast and all I could think was how it looked like an overweight parody of the National Lampoon's Vacation poster.
After the measurements, I paid a deposit and was asked to come back the next day for a fitting. They really do not hang about here.
After the fitting I knew one thing for certain. I really am not a suit man. Even wearing something tailored to my exact size, I felt constricted by it. It wasn't a case of it fitting poorly, but simply that I have grown so used to my current uniform of baggy basketball shorts and a polo shirt that anything else feels claustrophobic.
But it is of course all down to personal preference.
I'm pleased with the suits I've had made. The quality is very good (in as far as I am qualified to judge), and I think the shirts are great.
Its just a shame I'll ever need them at all!