Trip Start Aug 04, 2009
159Trip End Ongoing
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My friend wasn't sure how to get there so we asked directions several times along the way and then feeling confident with where we were going we proceeded to pass our turnoff. We both felt we were going the wrong way so I asked for directions, basically saying in Vietnamese "where is the silk village". We got the directions that we had just missed our turn by about 2-3 kms. We carefully turned around, which is a bit of a task since you do a u-turn in the midst of traffic
As we came out of the alley a funeral procession was passing by. I tried to be discreet when taking photos because it seemed a little disrespectful to be taking pictures of a funeral.
After the funeral had passed I walked into every shop, up to every table, thru every booth and found all the styles and colors I wanted. Then I went back and proceeded to bargain. Since I am now fairly proficient with asking the cost of things and most importantly, knowing the numbers. I was able to get some incredible deals on everything I wanted. As we were walking around I saw a woman selling something wrapped in banana leaves. I found out what it was called (Banh Mat & Banh Gio) so I had to give it a try. The gelatinous look of it made me a bit wary but once I put a slice in my mouth my wariness subsided into a feeling of sweet and tasty delight. I'm not totally certain what is in it but I liked it enough to buy a few to take home.
While shopping we stopped for some green tea to reenergize since there are green tea stands everywhere, literally every 100 yards or less
Leaving with a small backpack full of silky bargains I was now hungry. Lo and behold there was a Pho stand across the street. I walked over, pulled up a stool, was eyeballed by the regulars and then I ordered a bowl of Pho. This was nowhere near as good as the Pho that I get from the lady near my apartment but it filled the hole. Actually after I put in some small chili's, hot sauce, sliced garlic and squeezed in a few limes, it was not so bad. Those are the usual condiments on every table in street stands here. We went back for the bike and headed home.
Later that day, about 6pm, after a mid afternoon siesta, another friend came by and we went to a vegan restaurant for dinner
So he picked me up and we snaked our way through this tiny maze of alleys and then pulled into the Ha Thanh Com Chay parking area, which is unusual in and of itself because parking is at a premium here and to have an area set aside for parking, well that is rich. We ordered a community of plates of food to share. I quickly found that we had over-ordered not expecting such large portions of food to arrive.
So once again I had a day of incredible (and some even new to me) foods, great shopping and new experiences. Of course I had school the next day and planning still to do but after such a great weekend, seeing and taking in local fare, a little planning seemed ok.