Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vietnam, briefly

I wrote this over the course of a 5 day trip to Saigon.

Jeff and I have decided that it's like finding a 4-leaf clover if we spot 5 people riding a scooter. So far we've only seen 4 at once and some unusual loads including: a tree, 100 balloons, a bookshelf, 4 large bags of coconuts, 8 wooden folding chairs, 6 milk crates full of bottles. 

All adults wear helmets on mopeds, but kids do not. Just hats. Hardly any local women wear skirts. I suppose this is for practical reasons given the main mode of transport. The daily uniform for many older women seems to be pajamas. I guess that's the local version of the leisure suit. 

The CDC says to avoid street food, but we've chosen to ignore this advice. So far so good. We've had some incredible soups costing about a dollar a piece. 

Per Anthony Bourdain's advice we also went to "snail street" and had delicious seafood at an open air restaurant called Lucky. I'd never had cockles before so I wasn't sure if the fact that none of the shells were open was a bad sign. They tasted so good, though! And neither of us got sick so who knows. I guess we got lucky! Beers there were $0.50 a piece and we sat at a kids table on kids chairs just like all the locals. 

Gambling on cards is big here. Seems to be popular with all ages and is even done at family gatherings. 

Nose picking in public is rampant. 

Update: I saw two motos carrying 5 people and one with 6! Three adults, 3 kids. 

We took a day trip to the Mekong Delta, which was super touristy. I can't really say it was worth it, especially when we heard from some Australians that on the Cu Chi tunnels tour they got to shoot AK-47s. I didn't want to do that tour because I knew I wouldn't want to crawl through narrow underground tunnels. Oh well. 

People do still wear the conical hats, although mainly just people working outdoors.

1 comment:

Violet said...

It sounds like a great trip, and I admire your adventurousness with street food.

And welcome back!