Thursday, 10 September 2015

10th September - Ho Chi Minh City - food - old friends

Thursday 10th September 2015

Pete and Ben
Last night we found Ben and Rose, busy as ever, still living in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, still working very VERY hard.  Ben runs 16 restaurants, in the Al Fresco group; Rose no longer works in hotels but now is a corporate real estate person.  four months pregnant, and very happy and well.  We last saw them in 2010, and spent a bit of time with them in Vietnam in 2009.  Ben (Winspear) is an old family friend of Pete’s.  Since they last met Ben has grown a bit; Pete has shrunk a bit, and Rose is glowingly four months pregnant.

Ben and Rose
I bought a magazine from a very keen street stall vendor right outside Ben’s District One restaurant, Jasper’s.  It only cost $1.50 for a brand new Woman’s Day.  No I didn’t really want it but the vendor looked SO thrilled at the thought of making a sale I couldn’t resist.  And he very carefully selected Woman’s Day especially for me…I wondered how he could afford to sell it at this price; recommended retail is $4.20.  So when I got back to the hotel I peeled off a big white sticker and found…

Fair enough…the Vietnamese are very enterprising!

Many beautiful things to see in Ho Chin Minh City, amongst the mess and the bustle
This morning we walked into the centre of the city via a nearby park.  It was heaving with activity – a big festival is happening there tonight.  There will be many speeches, and maybe a band or two.  And LOTS of food!!  We went back at lunch time.

No we did not eat the scorpions.

I was very happy with fresh spring rolls, my favourite Vietnamese lunch.

Pete ate some of the shellfish…I tried one but it truly was not yummy and it had a very horrible texture.  Partly chewy, partly slimy…

I was very attracted to these beautiful mushroom thingies; maybe tonight!

But I don’t think I will be eating these octopus, delicious though they probably would be.

In one of the side streets we followed a woman towing a little wooden platform; I think she is one of the mobile washing-up ladies.  People eat their meals on the street and leave their dirty dishes on the footpath.  And along comes a nice little old lady with a bowl of soapy water on a little wheeled platform – all very efficient!

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