Growth

The most bizarre, sea creature-esque flower. Its stems sprouted from this tree as if it were a parasite and the tree not remotely related.

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Even had its own pair of balls.

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Shenanigans

This St. Valentine’s Day, accompanied by Dana and Ruben (for the most part), I had the distinct pleasure of

  • sitting in a bacon laden restaurant (The Hungry Pig), eavesdropping on some young’uns chatting about our magazine
  • getting my nails done in a cheap wee place in the backpacker area,
  • eating sushi nearby,
  • taking tacky Tet/Valentine’s photos in District 7 (that most suburban/American of districts),
  • wandering around the only park I know of that allows you to walk on the grass (while being childish voyeurs),
  • tasting some lovely beer back in the city center (Pasteur Street Brewing Co),
  • lounging/drinking/eating/chatting with a previously undiscovered collection of Italians in the neighbourhood and
  • sleeping diagonal-starfish-style on a bed to myself.

Sure, I miss Oli (who’s away visiting family) but it’s also been nice visiting the rest of the world again. A girl easily falls away from it all when there’s someone around with whom she can comfortably be an antisocial hermit.

Tea Parties & Mayhem

Last weekend was a blur.

Freddy had a positively darling “vintage” tea party on his roof. The highlight (for me at least) was Marta’s brownies, made with chickpeas instead of flour. All the goodness of gooey chocolatey brownies, but light and airy and, somehow, felt healthy. Wishful thinking, but still.

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Later that evening we went to a squash tournament in which Stefan competed for title of “number one in Vietnam”. Squash is a rather intense game – made lighter with free wine/hors d’oeuvres.

After that event I went to the opening party of the very “Japanese hipster” clothing store, Mayhem. At which point some blonde Vietnamese rapper guy – Wowy – asked if I was “the one”, and proceeded to talk about Kanye……. because I’m brown. Yes, us brownies all hang in the same circles.

The next day I scored some awesome finds at a friend’s clothing swap. Clothes but also (!) art supplies, a fan I’ve decorated, a wallet, a yoga mat and, finally, meters of ribbon – with which I will adorn everything.

Upon going through my wardrobe after the clothing swap, I’ve decided Oli and I should do a cheesy Christmas card featuring some cliche Vietnamese elements. Look forward to that.

Oh! How could I forget, Ruben has very generously given me a hat that was too big for him (my enormous head comes in handy once in a while), and I am now entirely enthralled. Yes, I have taken many a selfie with the hat.

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Last, but not least, on Dana’s birthday we ended up in Racha Room, a new bar/restaurant where, upon being the last ones in the place, the managers, owners, PR people, goodness knows who (because they were rather vague), gave us free shots (of complete amazingness) and had a wee chat with us; the usual banter. Was an excellent time and was tempted to give them my business card (finally found a use!), but decided not to in the end. Now regretting that decision. Mais, pas de problem, it’s a close-knit city.

I’m not sure I’ve had drinks this good in.. anywhere I’ve been. More Racha Room and more from bartender Greg.

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