....cheating on my Vietnamese Diet
02.11.2008 - 02.11.2008
Started early again today with a hotel buffet breakfast which, like all buffets was too expensive and poor quality of food. I dont think that the Vietnamese distinguish between breakfast foods and lunch or dinner foods like we do in the US. The breakfast buffet included noodle soup, bread (of course) and other assorted rices and noodles. There was also some sort of potato and carrot stew. The stew was wonderful (mostly because it reminded me of home). The only truly great thing about the buffet was ALL YOU CAN DRINK COFFEE!! I think I had 4 cups and would have had more if Stephane wasn't so eager to leave.
I have to say that my ass doesn't hurt even a little bit until the moment I sit on the moto-bike.
The day included:
more coffee-related sights
a catholic church (according to Stephane, the French introduced catholicism and it is progressively popular the further north you travel)
a war memorial
local market (just like the rest of the local markets)
A stop at the pharmacy and chat with the pharmacist. I guess in Vietnam (esp the smaller villages) you can 'buy' your license to sell medicine. The lady that I spoke to seemed very knowledgeable and states that although a prescription is needed to purchase medicine, she will many times give medicine to the minorities given the symptoms that they describe.
An overly friendly bus driver (I thought he was going to break my neck for the picture)
A reprieve from the rain
A typical squat toilet experience (not my first but the first that I remembered to take a picture). Thank god for Charmin travel packs!!
A lovely coffee stop at a local pepper farmers. The 'house' bird became very friendly and sang for us.
Random photos of locals being locals as I tried very hard not to squirm in my seat.
Walk through a Rubber Tree orchard. The process of sap collection is quite unique. Hopefully, you can see in the pictures later.
We arrived at our hotel about 5:30pm and decided to meet for dinner at 8pm. I decided to venture out on my own for a little bit to find an internet cafe and instead found a computer store with a very nice Vietnamese girl named Sen. She let me connect to the wireless internet for free and I purchased a set of headphones for my Skype for a mere $50,000 dong (about $3 usd). She was very nice and though neither of us spoke the other's language, we managed to make a little small talk. I met a very nice Vietnamese woman from the US, here visiting family. I am horrible and can't remember her name. We chatted in the lobby a bit and she is here visiting her family that live here and own the hotel where we are staying. She lives in Beaumont, TX. I enjoyed talking with her until Stephane rudely interrupted us and stated 'I'm hungry lets eat', so in order to placate my driver I said my goodbye's and we went to dinner.
The Vietnamese Diet continues:
Hotel Buffet for breakfast
Noodle soup for lunch (some sort of celery soup with noodles)
Chicken BBQ for dinner. This was perhaps the skinniest chicken I have ever eaten. There was barely any meat on the thing and it was fried not bbq. Very greasy and nasty with pink rice....YES, pink! It too was pretty nasty. Stephane stated that he 'loves to eat here when he is in town' Ugggghhhh!!
Ok, I cheated! I'll be honest. When I was out earlier, I stopped at a small local store and bought some Pringles and some honey roasted cashews. I ate half of each!! It was so good to have some 'normal' food for a change.
The remainder of my night was spent online updating my blog and emailing. I wasn't supposed to have a connection at the hotel but I was able to get a signal from the hotel across the street!!
I ended my day with about 30 minutes of Yoga (thanks Kim). Had to stop because I was lost on what I was supposed to be doing while following the podcast that Kim saved for me.
Life is good.....