Fish and Coconuts

Some highlights from the last few days. I shall partake of the humble bullet form, since it requires less of me and I’m feeling dreamy and hazy (= lazy) here in the Mekong Delta.

– Surviving the typhoon and marvelling at the calm efficiency of the local clear up the next day, as fallen trees were dodged or re-erected, and damaged, colourful lanterns collected.
– Cocktails in Saigon, most notably the brilliantly named ‘lady in hotel’. This non-drinker is a sucker for a well-named cocktail.
– Karaoke with some boys we acquired along the way. I have never done karaoke before as it terrifies me AND simultaneously makes me cringe in a very English way, BUT, bearing in mind the cocktails, I was perhaps more impressionable that usual; and it was one of my favourite nights ever, and also came with the revelation that my friends think I have a really good voice and need to join a choir immediately on my return to the UK. This meant a lot as although I do absolutely love singing (I thought I would be a song-writer at one stage), I am often very shy about singing in public.
– Coconut farm. Noodle factory. Rice-paper-making lady who let us try it (and had a gorgeous three-year-old girl called Ngan who giggled and picked her nose and spontaneously produced the peace sign for our cameras.)
– boats and more boats. And cycling. For an Oxford girl it’s ridiculous that the last time I cycled was in Honduras. (My exercise bike doesn’t count.)
– mopeds. Way too much fun (though I only ever ride on the back of someone else’s).
– Sunsets with butterflies and dragonflies flitting between the river and the orange poppies.
– honey green tea and a man who fought in Cambodia and had the most beautiful crows feet. He’s married to the rice-paper lady.
– Slow row boat through the brown, silt-filled river, enjoying every second of dappled shade.

There’s more, but for now I want to stop and show you some more from Germany. Isn’t the fish great?

(Copyright Steven Billups; images shot on film.)

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