The last few days have been totally action packed, and as usual totally unpredicatable and unexpected..
We have survived our first major scare, and also our first karaoke night..!
I’m going to have to break this down into chunks because there is so much to say – I could write pages about each experience but I’ll try and keep it brief. I’ve timed writing this pretty well though as it’s 10:55am and the girls are all still fast sleep so I have the full use of the rather dodgy broadband J
This was nicer than I thought it was going to be actually, and only cost about 4p to get in. I was expecting concrete pits but most the animals seemed to be in pretty good enclosures. Though not always as enclosed as you would expect!...
These monkeys freely escaped their cage to steal leaves from the nearby trees before squeezing back in again.
Sadly the elephants/tigers and lions were kept in far too small a pen. And the elephants had chains round their legs which was upsetting.
We were all in our PJs ready for bed when we had a knock on our door. Candy was inviting us out for icecream, so we thought well why not. Quickly pulled on our clothes again and headed downstairs where Candy then told us we were going by motorbike of course.
She also very unsubtlely paired the 4 of us girls up with Daniel, Tung and the two Vietnamese personal trainers who live here. Thoroughly enjoyed the company and the icecreams! We then assumed we would be going home but o no, we were now on some sort of late night food tour again…
We went to some totally different part of the city where we were presented with a hotpot (cook it yourself stove on the table) full of cockles, clams and crabs claws. It was delishous.
We also had chicken feet…
The journey home was eventful but we all arrived in one piece and were very glad to have the boys to look out for us.
Went into district one with soph and julianne to do some shopping and get Candy a present to thank her for all her hospitality. Ended up singing ‘happy birthday’ to try to convey I wanted flowers as a gift (I was worried I might be accidentally buying funeral flowers!).
Had a lovely lunch, we are getting to be more Vietnamese in our eating now – ordering 2/3 meals and then sharing them. Had an amazing chilli lemongrass fried chicken dish.
Still find this city so beautiful and exciting. Am no way bored of it yet!
Also managed to book for the Mekong and Dalat which I’m excited about.
Our first karaoke night… How to describe this one?! We were instructed by Tung that we couldn’t look like trampy backpackers.. He told us we would actually have to put on some makeup and dress up properly so we got dolled up and had a few drinks here before getting a car taxi to the karaoke joint. This was not how I expected it to be – but nothing is! We were taken to a little room with our own machine and huge ‘Argos catalogue’ of terrible English songs to choose from. Tungs friend Sean joined us too, but singing to just 6 people was pretty intimate. And not helped by the fact the micro phone had some sort of weird echo distortion on it which meant we all sounded bloody awful..!
Had to have some cocktails to get in the mood. But we soon were LOVING it. George Micheal, the Spice girls, Pink, Red Hot Chillis, ABBA… the boys sang too – they were miles better than us sadly.
Then we went to a rooftop bar and met up with Daniel which meant I got to ride on the bike again. Karaoke and motoring biking round siagon, it really couldn’t have been more of a Vietnamese party night! Though I did burn my leg on the damn bike exhaust which hurts a lot still.
The we went on to a street bar again, where you sit pretty much in the middle of the road on tiny plastic chairs and everyone drinks beer. At this point someone suggested shots and the evening descended into far too much laughter and silliness till 7am J It was great though, we all had such a good night – even if we did pay for it the next day…
Bringing the Potato:
We had been telling Candy how much we already miss potatos and bless her she went out and bought 4! God knows where she found them! Anyway then the pressure was on as she wanted us to cook them… There being no oven we decided to go for mash. No milk here of course but there was something which looked like butter. Candy was really taken with the mash, she was amazed we had potatos instead of rice/nodles and wanted us to tell her the recipe <3 Eating potatoes with chopsticks is going down in my memory forever.
We also had the chance to make spring rolls and fry them ourselves which was great – I’m really missing cooking so I loved it. Unfortunately due to the hang over we did all keep having to take it in turns to run upstairs to our room… Poor laura was the worse off she had to give in after only one spring roll and retire permanently. In the end there was nothing for it but to crack open another beer. Candy had been out and bought 20 beers especially for the occasion so it would have been rude not to…
The food was amazing. We all sat on the floor in true Vietnamese style and Candy kept piing our bowls high.
Then someone suggested karaoke and before we knew it we were singing Wham’s Last Christmas and Jingle Bells… Totally surreal, and absolutely wonderful.