Romance is in the air at Cafe Tram.

It’s been a looooooong time since I’ve put up any mixes (the Christmas song posts don’t count… neither good nor bad)… too long! Today I’m gifting you the power of the Soundtrack to a Vietnamese Cafe.

Here’s a post that I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while – over a year, in fact. It’s just silly, but consider it a Christmas gift from me to you!

BEHOLD: a Youtube playlist so that YOU, TOO, can pretend that you’re spending hours a day in a Vietnamese Coffeeshop!

You read that right.

I sat and Shazaamed (wow, I’m getting a lot of use out of that app lately) songs for 90 minutes, then listed them in a playlist, in order and as I heard them. Naturally some Vietnamese songs were impossible to identify, but, really? You’re not missing out on much. Here’s the rest…

…and MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Enjoy – I know I did!


  • Computer with internet access
  • Iced Ca Phe Da / Ca Phe Sua Da
  • Scrunchies? I seem to remember scrunchies?
  • Ninety’s nostalgia, definitely
  • Insulin injector, just in case


  1. Press play.
  2. Drink coffee and iced tea.
  3. Mess around on the internet because it’s better than the internet at your house that you pay for, unless someone’s playing WoW, in which case, move to another cafe and go back to Step 1.
  4. You are now in a Vietnamese coffeeshop for 1 hour and 7 minutes.
  5. Fini.

Unnecessary Comments, Plus a Setlist:

1. 98 Degrees – Because of You. Wow. I didn’t know I kind of loved this song. Kind of a scary thought. Where the hell are they these days??

2. TLC – No Scrubs. I’m not surprised I heard a TLC song, but I was expecting Waterfalls. I hear this one much less often, and yet it stays in my head longer. Not fair.

3. Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On. What is up with this 3 minute theatrical introduction?? What is going on? Is that woman coming back after she floats away? Why do some of them have an umbrella? Is it raining on stage? Why does it seem like this song will never ever ever die??

4. Until You – Shayne Ward. The stupendously confusing background footage (is he in a jail in that one scene? Are they high school students? Are they on vacation? Why is everyone crying/doing wall squats?? Was this from a Vietnamese movie or is this a fan vid??) kind of makes this song halfway interesting.

5. Fly By – Blue. I’d never heard of Blue… before I came to Vietnam. This is a bona fide staple of coffeehouse playlists.


6. Enrique Iglesias – Hero. Does he die at the end of this video?? Why?! Shouldn’t it be her that’s hit by a car, so he can be her Hero, baby?

7. Enrique Iglesias – Bailamos. There must have been an Enrique fan at the dial this afternoon. I forgot how infectious this damn song is. Like Ebola. Ebola Iglesias.

8. Take That – How Deep Is Your Love. WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THIS VIDEO?!? Why the fork?? Is this a secret David Lynch project? Brian Fuller, maybe? WOW, what a strange time the mid-late nineties were. There seems to be *zilch* connecting the images and words. …DID SHE JUST KILL HIM?? ARE THE OTHERS NEXT?!? WTF.

9. All 4 One – I Can Love You Like That. This is a pretty great jam. This version seems to have been recorded off a CRT tv with a cassette camcorder. Sounds ok, though. No one’s dying in the video, so that’s a plus?

10. Destiny’s Child – Say My Name. I just knew this tune was going to pop up. Hey, Bey!

11. Groove Coverage – 7 Years and 50 Days. I actually just watched this all the way through for the first time. I’ve never seen a girl eat an apartment. Her metabolism seems to be in top notch shape, though only eating a quarter of an end table seems like a waste… My mom always said no TV until I was done at the table. *wompwomp*

12. Trademark – Only Love. Seriously. This stuff is what you can hear in so, so many coffeehouses. You learn to tune out love songs, like getting used to a TV buzzing in the next room. Another Vietnamese staple. Vomit.

13. Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. This was written for Kevin Kostner’s Robin Hood movie??? That seems… I don’t know. I’m having trouble thinking critical thoughts at this point. I should probably check my blood sugar.

14. Daniel Powter – Bad Day. Another staple. But the difference is that I (for now) still enjoy this song. After watching the video for the first time, I’m 100% NOT AT ALL SURPRISED to find out it depicts (of course) a romance. The moral of the story is clearly that if you are having a bad day at work, you are surely about to fall in love in a quirky, romantic way, because life is fair. *hehright*

15. Marc Terenzi – Love To Be Loved By You. It’s frankly amazing that this video almost approaches self-parody after all we have seen in the last hour. That’s a crazy high bar for ballads, but Mr. Terenzi’s use of beaches, wedding crap, shouting into the wind on cliffs, and really, just astoundingly 90’s hair/piercings/linen suits really takes it to a whole new level. I’m grudgingly respectful.

16. Taylor Swift – Love Story. Good lord, you made it to the end!! Congratulations, here’s some Taylor Swift. It’s not all bad. Tay Tay got it goin’ on. Ms. Swift is a sure thing no matter what country she’s playing in, apparently.

I can’t believe I watched all these videos. That deserves a merit badge, yo!

What’s your favorite / least-favorite coffeehouse repeat offender?