Cooking School with Bill Barr's law partner

Trip Start Oct 10, 2008
Trip End Oct 27, 2008

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Monday, October 13, 2008

Our day started with a frightening thrill ride through traffic.  We decided to take a bike-rickshaw (or bike-shaw) to the Bin Tranh market this morning.  We negotiated a deal of 10,000 VND (less than $1) for each of us and hopped in the seat set in front of the bike.  It was monday morning during rush hour and the traffic was horrendous!!!  It was an "E" Ticket taking a left onto a main street as the cross traffic doesn't necessarily stop and the turning traffic has to get aggressive and hope the cross traffic stops.  Yikes!  And the biker was about 70 years old and had fought in "The American War" (as they call it around here).

So, after our wake-up ride we waited at the appointed spot at the market for the cooking school.  They didn't show, so we decided to cruise the market ourselves checking out the live fish, crabs, huge prawns, live frogs and other interesting food.  We ran into the cooking school group during our wander and got everything straightened out.  (I think they'd lost our reservation.) 

So we joined the market tour to learn about various fruits and veg and then hopped in cabs to the school.  Our fellow students were a newlywed couple from Australia (a LOT of fun) and the law partner of Libreratarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr.  (Look him up...Bob's pretty interesting.)  We made 4 Vietnamese dishes during the class, chatted about travel, traded jokes and had a great time. 

During the afternoon we hit a coffee bar....Vietnam is one of the few foreign countries we've been to that has truly excellent coffee served everywhere...even the hotels!  (We're used to instant for breakfast when we travel...even in Turkey where they have great Turkish coffee you get instant for breakfast...yuk!)  Then it was off for a foot massage ($5US each) and then hanging out at a local cafe again people watching.

We hit a French restaurant for dinner.  It only seemed right since last time we were in Paris one of our favorite meals was at a Vietnamese restaurant.  Karma evens it all out, right?   Dinner was excellent (souffle was spectacular) ...but we did an Aussie wine as the French was a tad pricey!

So...sunny today which took the humidity down and the temp up.  Tomorrow we head for the Mekong Delta area for 2 days, so you probably won't get a posting tomorrow.

Starting to get used to the crazy, busy traffic but starting a list of weird things we've seen carried on motorcycles, including:

 - a 6' tall "Hotel" sign
 - an 8' ladder
 - a family of 5 (1 adult and 4 kids)

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