Thursday 15 September 2016

What I did last week/earlier this week

We started early Saturday with a visit to lively Ben Thanh Market, to check out the produce and wet market. Seeing crabs tightly packed into too small a space and frogs bundled into a bag, ready to be someone's dinner, always makes me feel sad. Luckily there was enough in the what-the-f**k-is-that category in the adjacent produce section to take my mind off it.  

As did the cooking class at the excellent Saigon Culinary Arts Centre. I've been fortunate enough to take cooking courses in various parts of the globe for stories, but this was probably the most fun. It was certainly the hottest: when it's 32 degrees out and you're cooking crispy Vietnamese pancakes over a gas burner, your hair tends to stick to your head in unusual formations and sweat pools in unimaginable places. But we drank gallons of iced tea, jostled for space under the ceiling fans and stuffed ourselves stupid.

There was also a Vespa night tour of the city (not much fun when it's raining and the city's five million Kamakize scooters have you in their sights), a trip to the Mekong Delta and an hilarious cyclo ride around the city. There were various museums, including the excellent War Remnants Museum which charts the American War (as they refer to it in Vietnam) and where the graphic exhibits and photos drove many to tears.

I also got to dust off my bargaining skills at the market and several items I probably don't need or want found their way into my suitcase.

Now I just have to write the stories....

The Animator, hard at work, taking pics for my stories



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