Monday, October 25, 2010

Another Monday in Saigon

Gavin and I were rudely awoken throughout the night.  First by some unruly misquotes who somehow have become immune to our Raid plug-ins.  Then by the oppressive heat.  And around 9am by what sounding like the walls being bashed in by sludge hammers, but was probably in fact some construction going on near by.  The incessant pounding left us with headaches, not helped by the bottles of Saigon beer we had drunk the evening before.

We spent Sunday night with a friend, Patrick, who has lived here for 14 years and has a lot of stories to tell.  We were also joined by Freddy.  Freddy is nearly done with medical school in the states, but when he runs out of money to fund his education, he comes to HCMC to teach for a year to rebuild funds.  This is his third year out here.  We had our first truly negative interaction with a Vietnamese person.  The man offered to help us with the menu when we arrived before our friends, but ended up just being really annoying and drunk.  Once our friends arrived and a few words were exchanged in Vietnamese, his friends ushered him back to their table.  After that we enjoyed a few beers, music, stories and some amazing food.  Unfortunately I forgot the camera, but Gavin had a quarter-kilo of fresh prawns served grilled on sticks with their heads and shells still on.  He was given a lime/pepper/salt sauce for dipping.  I got noodles with beef and veggies.  Patrick ordered a whole red snapper.  The raw, whole snapper was put on the table in a large dish over a small burner sitting in a spicy broth with some vegetables.  It slowly steam cooked in front of us.  The finished product was amazing.  Over all, a pretty good night

After our rude awakening this morning, Gavin and I feasted on eggs, bacon and sweet rolls for breakfast, then headed out on the town.  Today's mission was to find a guitar for Gavin.  I think we found what we were looking for, but I'll save that post for another day.

After running (or rather biking!) all over town we ventured to a different super market near our house to stock up on some grub and household needs.  This time we went to Co-Op Mart rather than Super C.  Co-Op Mart is located on Shit Creek, which is sort of behind our house, across the railroad tracks and on the way to work.  Shit Creek was at low tide today so all the trash and sewage was exposed and extra stinky!  I tired to get a good picture of it, but kept having men peeing get in the way of my photography.  I did however capture one picture over the creek of men burning trash.  I guess the smell of burning trash is better than rotting feces.

Despite the stench and scene, Co-Op Mart far out shined Super C.  We had a field day in there and left with two huge bags of stuff, everything from dragon fruit and new cups to a new notebook for lesson planning and cream puffs.  We also couldn't resist the point of sale deals and sprang for a case of beer.  We rode home, our load larger than ever, along Shit Creek, over a bridge, through back streets and alley ways and along train tracks where we were stopped for a few minutes by a lurching train straight out of the middle of the century.  We carried on through the busy street,  to Cach Mang Thang 8 and finally to our quiet little alley and into Our Green Building.  What a long day, and we haven't even gone to work yet!


David said...

SHIT CREEK! Can't wait to bring my canoe - hope the paddle doesn't disintegrate. And fellows peeing. What else are creeks for? Always enjoy the juxtaposition of foul and food.
Can't wait to visit and join the boys at the creek. Keep the posts coming, there is a wider audience than you would imagine, remember the reaction to the dead goat post from Istanbul! You kids are living the life.

Ned said...

Misquotes? The bane of my existence! Misquotes that are immune to Raid? The most slanderous kind! Watch out for those misquotes, Nell. They can spoil your reputation overnight!