With the luxury of having a day off I have been able to reflect on the things I have learnt so far.

Everyone is suppose to have equal rights on the road. However, who’s going to argue with a massive earth moving truck…..or better still a fleet of them travelling together.  The death toll on the roads on the holiday weekend was 150 in one day. Two of them were just up the road. How do I know? They mark the road with white paint the shape of the bodies where they landed. Ang  (lady that takes me to work and back) stopped the other day at the place of the accident  as there was still good pineapples on the side of the road and I had to pick them up. She said they came from the accident….

I noted that not many people smoked. Wrong!! The men smoke a huge bong. Not with THC but local tobacco. One of the volunteers that smokes said she tried it but the tobacco was very strong and bitter so she went back to bought tobacco.

The main local diet is rice and noodles various ways, greens ( mainly morning glory and taro leaves), pork, beef, chicken (expect all parts of the chicken except feathers), tofu, eggs, all with various pickles and sauces. Not overly hot but spicy, sour and salty. They eat a lot of fruit. This village sells mainly pineapple. But have mango, bananas, and various other fruit I don’t recognise but taste good. Eaten on their own or with yoghurt which is always sweet even the ‘natural’ variety.

yesterday I got to experience riding with three of us on the bike. This is fairly normal and you regularly see bikes with four and even five people on the bike. Nothing to have either two adults and two or three children or three adults and two children.

I have been thinking the weather has been 34c but checked today and it has been 38c (feels like 40) with humidity around 80%. No wonder I am stuffed!!!!. Having problems with eyes as sunscreen infused sweat is running into eyes plus dust and breeze from bike causing eyes to be constantly out of focus. Decided that being out of focus was better than 3rd degree burns from the sun.??and washing with saline drops.

Interestingly, no one drinks the water here. All bottled water even in the villages. So no problem with ice.

Always put two scoops of rice in a bowl. One scoop means you are dying and three scoops means you are sick.

You can tell how experienced a person is with chopsticks by the way they hold them. Down the pointy end you are a learner. Right up the top means you are very expert. Most people hold them in the middle.

Vietnamese are obsessed with their weight. Us foreigners can be whatever we want but they have to be skinny. although i wss told i was too tall and too fat. I was shocked when having lunch at the pagoda with a female monk that an Amway rep turned up selling her weight loss powders, pills and meal replacements. What was more shocking was they they told her she was fat and she agreed. I always thought monks were beyond that sort of superficial stuff.

Today I learnt about birthdays and age. You are one as soon as you are born and then another year can be added depending on which side of the Chinese New year you are born. So if you are born in 2013 and before the new year you will be 5 not 3 as in western world. If after the new year you are 4.




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