Cassoulet, not Cathars.

It rained for a lot of the month we stayed near Castelnaudary. It was too wet for Cathar castles, but luckily the weather never interferes with foodie plans. We were in cassoulet country. Even being mostly vegetarian couldn’t stop me. I was on a quest to find the bestest bean-and-meat-laden stew in the region of Castelnaudary – one of the towns that claim to be … Continue reading Cassoulet, not Cathars.

Food Stories 3. Danang – Foodie Heaven.

Danang, Vietnam, January 2020. Food is very important to the Vietnamese. They eat a lot. And when they’re not eating they’re thinking about eating. ‘I eat out twice a day’, Anh told us. Nearly all Vietnamese eat breakfast on the street. ‘We get up very early, we’re not really awake and no-one has time to make noodles for breakfast’. Any morning, any place in Vietnam, … Continue reading Food Stories 3. Danang – Foodie Heaven.

The Charm of Being in a Place Where There is Nothing To Do.

Quy Nohn, Vietnam, January 2020.  We went to Quy Nohn only because we were trying to get to Kum Tum. We knew nothing about it. And sometimes that’s the best place to start from. No expectations. No musts. Just endless possibilities. We drank iced coffees and sugar cane juice at a beachside cafe, sitting under fluttering blue umbrellas, watching food vendors touting their wares to … Continue reading The Charm of Being in a Place Where There is Nothing To Do.

Village Life. Visiting the Jarai and Bahnar People.

Kon Tum, South-West Highlands, Vietnam. January 2020. The cow burned on a fire. Black and bloated. A shirtless lad poked it with a tree branch while an old man occasionally flecked water over it’s rigid body. Plumes of smoke created a heat haze and masked their somewhat macabre business. Other men squatted on their haunches and rocked back on their heels, smoking cigarettes and barbecuing … Continue reading Village Life. Visiting the Jarai and Bahnar People.

Mui Ne.

Mui Ne, Vietnam, New Year’s Day 2020. A strange place. At first I almost hated it. Palm trees yes, tropical paradise no. A 15 km strip of ‘resorts’ squeezed between a litter-lined beach and a busy main road, between discarded plastic and horn-tooting ‘open tour’ backpacker buses. Mui Ne is a curious mix of kite-surfers, Russian tourists, and traditional fishing villages. Our first meal was … Continue reading Mui Ne.