Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Day Worth Writing Home About

Gavin and I decided to escape the heat for the afternoon and head back to one of our favorite parts of Saigon: Van Thanh Park.  The park is located on an island in the heart of the city.  It is an oasis from the crowded, dusty streets.  It has a wonderful swimming pool in the center of the park, where you pay a mere 30,000 VND for all-day access.  The adjoining restaurant serves cold beer, fresh coconut juice, and iced coffee right to your poolside chairs.  We brought our Ipod and portable speaker for some entertainment along with books.  The water was cool and the slight breeze after a dip made me feel like it was winter; that is until I looked around and realized I was in my swimsuit, surrounded by palm trees.

On our way to the pool we had our first motorbike accident.  We were t-boned by a young woman as she haphazardly tried to merge into traffic.  There were two real victims of the crash: my foot, which was crunched and beat up a bit, and the poor girl who was ripped a new one by Gavin.  I'm fine now, just a bit swollen.  She is probably still crying.

Last week, we went to dinner with some friends at a chic modern restaurant called Papaya.  We had a monumental feast, both the size and quality were overwhelmingly tasty.  When we realized how close we were, we headed back to Papaya after the pool.  Gavin and I managed to wolf down the sizable meal documented below:
Papaya salad with strips of crispy pork, mint leaves, and peanuts
Lightly fried, crispy sea bass with a sweet passion fruit-citrus sauce
Tofu squares sauteed in hot chilies and lemongrass
  Spicy barbecued squid with lime garnish

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