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.
Quang Ngai, January 2020. Jim wanted to go. I was only six when it happened. Son My had no place in my consciousness. Jim was eighteen. ‘I was angry at the Americans, angry about the war. I can’t be so close and not go’, he told me. So I went – because he wanted to, and maybe to learn something. We hired bikes and cycled. … Continue reading Son My.
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.
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, Vietnam. New Year’s Day 2020. Continue reading Mui Ne, Fishing Village – in pictures.
Christmas Day, Saigon 2019. A motorbike would have been easier. But we’d not yet figured out how to grab a bike for the two of us, so we went by car. To a neighbourhood district north of the city centre. Streets like strips of ribbon, flexing and turning. Bikes beeping behind us. Those that could not wait, over-taking on the inside, as the driver tried … Continue reading Food Stories 2: Eating With A Vietnamese Family.
Saigon. December 2019 I didn’t know much about Vietnamese history. But I did know that the Reunification Palace is a bit of a must for history buffs. We’d walked past it a few times. A 1960’s ugly block of a building, which cast a sort of eerie shadow over the city, palm trees and manicured gardens notwithstanding. When we visited I had the approach and … Continue reading From Independence to Reunification – A Palace Full of History.
Saigon, Vietnam, December 2019 Helen arrived first. Hopping off her bike she pulled off a grey sweat top to reveal a silky shimmering deep-sea-blue ao dai. Then she leaned back against her bike and started texting. Lily arrived a few moments later. Same blue tunic. Same black ponytail swinging. Same smiles and laughter. ‘Did you ever go on a motorbike before?’, she asked. We’d already … Continue reading Food Stories 1. Street Food Saigon Style.
Saigon. December 2019. We flew to Saigon to start our three-month sojourn in Vietnam. My sister asked what it was like. The answer came tumbling out of me, so many impressions threatened sensory overload. Our first days passed in the stupor of jet-lag. The heat was suffocating. We’d gone from 9 to 30+ degrees. It was a sticky heat that made me wilt. Jim loved … Continue reading Saigon. First Impressions.
Amritsar, 2010. The Golden Temple in pictures. Continue reading The Golden Temple.