OK, whoever said you don’t need to take many clothes to Vietnam did NOT take into account that you sweat so bloody much that you have to change at least 3 times per day. I mean, who would have thought this much sweat could come out of one human body. And it is not like it doesn’t get hot in Australia (although from what I have heard, hot is faaaarrrrrr from what it is right now). I would also like to personally thank Willis Carrier from Buffalo, New Yorkfor inventing the air conditioner. If the man has not received a medal already for this then he really should. He is personally responsible for my sanity whilst over here. It has only been the last 3 days that it has been ridiculously hot – 39 degrees and humidity through the roof. I mean, it is even too hot to swim in the pool and not because the sun is too hot overhead but because the pool is like a large warm/hot bath. I am sticking to showers and beer to assist me in staying cool. Thank heavens Tiger beer is so good and at 25cents per stubby, who can go wrong. (If I start slurring my words in this post I expect you to forgive me considering the extreme hot circumstances that I am under right now).
So as for news…
Yesterday myself and friend Van went to Cham Island for the day which is seriously heavenly. For those of you who have made it up to Whitehaven beach on the Whitsundays – it is very similar to that. Spectacularly beautiful but with culture thrown in. I am really grateful that I am getting to see a lot of Hoi and this region with a real local (thanks Van) because I get to see a side of it that others don’t get to see. We went and visited a beautiful family on Cham Island yesterday. They are very poor but were so incredibly welcoming and such gracious hosts. They pulled out a table and stools for us, wiped everything down and then got me a cold drink and a small desk fan that they plugged into the power and pointed right in my direction. It is a little hard to hide my difficulty with the heat when my skin is so white and face so red and dripping with sweat. They were so kind and beautiful!! I got to meet the grandmother, daughter, grand-daughter and great grand-daughter of one family. Their life story is so tough and very sad but not going into that here. I want to focus on how welcome they made me feel and how generous they were even though they have so little themselves. Their photos are below:
The rest of the day at Cham Island included motorbike tour of the island, a photo shoot with Van where she endeavoured to bring out the supposed model in me. I have to say, she does have a knack of making you feel comfortable and relaxed when taking your photo so am pretty happy with some of the shots. We had a wonderful lunch on the beach (not that you would expect any less from me considering my food stories are always pretty consistent), relaxed in a hammock style chair and then had a crazy speedboat ride back to the mainland which no kidding makes my bicycle rides look like child’s play. I was sitting at the back of the boat and got extremely wet through the 30 minute ride back. I think the driver was enjoying soaking us 3 sitting at the back.
Below from left – Cham Island Pineapples (yes, pineapples!!!), a fisherman on the beach who wanted me to take a photo him. (he was so funny), the wonderful Van (alias daughter, tourist guide and inspirational woman who is going to change the lives of so many children in Hoi An) and finally ME!
So that was yesterday.
This morning I spoke to Jordan at about 8am when she skyped me and I had to say – sorry honey but I have to leave in 5 minutes as I am going to a Vietnamese cooking class this morning. She said, that’s fine mum I am leaving in 10 minutes for a Thai cooking class. Look out Mark and Jake – you will be in for some sensational cooking when the two of us get home next month.
My cooking class was sensational. 5 hour class and you got to eat the 4 courses you cooked (all for $30). We got a tour of the local market and detailed description of vegetables, spices, herbs and fruits plus tour of the cooking school and then of course our class itself. OMG, the food that I cooked was wonderful and I am so excited about cooking when I get home. Have bought a cook book and everything. The food here is so light and tasty – I haven’t felt bloated once since I got here.
Don’t want to tease you too much about food today so I am not going to upload any photos just yet!!!!
Afternoon at my now favourite teahouse with Van, followed by dinner at my local hangout and 11 games of Connect 4 at my second local hangout with Van, which I won 6 games to 5. Needless to say she was not happy!!!
After that, back to the comfort of air conditioned room, blogging and now movie and bed.
Life is pretty damn good my friends. If Mark and the kids were here (plus a few of you guys) then it would be perfect!!!!!
Until tomorrow – take care and good night.