We’re trying to fit in everything we wanted to do in Saigon, but on our 4th day here the jet lag is setting in and it’s getting harder to keep up the pace. We slept in, but woke up throughout the night. By the time we got up and going it was lunch time. After exchanging another $100 American (the first $100 lasted until now) we headed to the Lunch Lady stand for today’s soup.
Bún Thái – Shrimp, beef, fish cake, and squid. It’s a noodle soup that has a refreshing citrus tinted broth. When we sat down we were bombarded by several people laying down 4-5 side dishes before the soup. Cat, being the well seasoned traveler and seeing the scam right away, shooed away all of the people and their dishes.
Normally we would have put about half of that plate of herbs you see on the left into the soup. But when it comes to street food, I’m not sure our untrained American stomachs can handle the questionable cleanliness and quality of the herbs. So for now we’ll eat the soup as it’s served.
Cat with Nguyen Thi Thanh; the famous Lunch Lady, We paid 150,000 vnd (about $6.50 USD) for 2 bowls of soup and a book that includes all of the Lunch Lady’s recipes. She happily signed the book and offered a picture with Cat.
After lunch we met up with Cat’s old high school friend (social media can be such a powerful tool in reconnecting people…even across the globe in a foreign land) at Maison Marou Saigon for a coffee. I’m starting to get a little sick, so I had sparkling water.
Across from the Lunch Lady stand is a nice walking area near the river. Here’s a nice view looking back to the city.
One of the main circles in the city. In about 3 hours this is so filled with cars and scooters going every direction (and I mean every direction…lanes are suggestions and people often drive the wrong way) that you can’t see the street.
Yet another overindulgent feast at Aunt Maika’s house. Tonight’s main dish is a duck curry.
I took this photo because how else can we convince anyone they’re trying to feed us to death. Seen on the table are egg rolls, duck curry, Chinese sausage, a Vietnamese ham, century eggs (or black egg), hot vit lon (fertilized and partially developed duck eggs), pate, and a mayo butter mixture used primarily for Bahn Mi. Also on the table are foot long cuts of baguette’s that are some of the best bread I’ve ever eaten.
We think my slight stomach problems are caused by the water I’ve been drinking. We have a water bottle that has its own built in filter, but the tap water in Saigon might be too much for my little bottle to handle. In preparation we came well stocked with various types of medicine, so after 2 charcoal pills, a couple of Tums, and a hydration pack I’m feeling back to myself. Apparently not up to par with the expectations of Ba Nam and Aunt Maika, as every time we go to dinner they ask Cat the entire time why I haven’t eaten more. I guess I’m not meeting their American eating expectations.
On top of me getting a little stomach sick, Cat hasn’t felt well all day for another reason; jet lag (or that’s our theory). She woke up with a sore throat, stuffy nose, she’s got a headache that she can’t kick, and she’s feeling exhausted. Either 2 days of going out late is catching up, or we’ve been going out late because our bodies still aren’t on schedule. So today we didn’t do much, and we came back to our hotel almost immediately after dinner. We’ll get some rest and try to wake up ready to tackle the day tomorrow.