In Your Mouth

I’ve discovered the new very-best-drink-ever-in-the-whole-entire-world:

« Hazel Eyes »
at The Racha Room

It tastes like pie. And not even a cheap apple or lemon meringue pie, but something with layers of complex flavour and texture and how, oh how, do they do it!? All I can guess is that the bartender is a gift from god and a genius among peasants. Peasants, all of you.

Okay, I exaggerate; there’s a spectrum of best drinks. This is definitely not the best drink to quench your thirst, nor the best drink to “get wasted” on. It’s just the best thing to put in your mouth.

Ingredients I can remember:

  • nutmeg
  • egg whites
  • a lime
  • waiter said orange juice, but I couldn’t taste it
  • some kind of alcohol

Ingredients listed on their Facebook page:

  • frangelico
  • galliano
  • caramel
  • sugar
  • lemon

I will be thoroughly disappointed if it isn’t still on the menu when I visit again.


In this new-found moisture-ridden weather my back will not stop itching.

After wandering around for a few hours – not even in direct sunlight but in air-conditioned shops and shaded courtyards – I come home, watch a tv show, do some more work, and wait for the prickle to creep up my back.

Ceaseless and inscrutable. Like that stray hair caught inside your shirt. You keep thinking you’ve found it, but not two minutes later the tingle starts again. Only with this, it’s itching. Like my pores are whispering to each other, but only when I’m not looking.


This is not the subtle sweat, this is sweat from me doing five minutes of exercise that my unhealthy body can’t handle. Pretty, though; iPhone cameras are where it’s at.


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.


My plans to go for calm, safe motorbike driving lessons with Oli have been dashed.

A few days ago I attempted to have security call a mechanic to come and either fix or take away Oli’s bike. Instead, security called a xe om driver who promptly told me to get on the bike. I assumed the mechanic was nearby so he was going to push me or something.. bit odd when he could just push the bike without me on it.

Not quite the case. After coaxing me onto Oli’s bike, the xe om driver hopped on his and started driving and pushing me from behind; one foot on Oli’s bike and the other on his own bike. All I could think was that my helmet was 12 floors above me, this will be quick, I’m already on the bike, the mechanic’s must be just round the corner, out of the way of traffic, how do I keep it straight? How is he pushing me? Will the breaks work if it’s not turned on???

This quickly became a lesson in avoiding cars, bikes and people while trying to understand his directions in Vietnamese.

We got to the mechanic’s after two stops for directions and a number of blaring horns at intersections, and what do you know – the bike starts right away. Why didn’t I think to try to start it before calling the mechanic/xe om. Oi. Vei.

Anyway, instead of an electronic element needing replacing as was previously mentioned, all it needed was a small plastic L-shaped tube. Thankfully cheap.

Bike fixed, money paid, the xe om driver then motions me to get on the bike, and of course I try to tell, gesture, display the fact that I have no idea how to ride a bike – and a bike with gears at that. He says something, smiles and gestures in a way that suggests he understands and will drive me back. Instead, he pats the seat and says some monosyllabic Vietnamese sentence.

I get on and point to my foot, lifting it and raising my arms questioningly to illustrate, again, that I have no idea what to do with the gears. This seems to make him think I don’t know the directions to get back home, so he starts pointing and telling me where to go (I presume).

There was nothing more to do. So, helmet sitting quietly at home, I put it into first gear, twisted the handle and proceeded on a very jerky drive home – half of the way in a rough first gear and half of the way in a slightly better second gear.

This little detour from my normal routine ended with a slight burn on my leg from trying to prop up the bike while finding the parking card.

Humiliating, slightly scary and vaguely liberating. Maybe now it will be easier for me to finally get on the bike and practise.. ugh.


(Update: the bike broke down again the next day and Oli had to get a whole lot more replaced than a silly L-shaped tube. My entire trip was clearly a waste.)


You have not shelled garlic until you’ve shelled Vietnamese garlic.

Slivers. All slivers. They look larger in this photo than they were. By the time I finished peeling them everything else in my soup was already cooked. There must be a better way – or people must just not shell them at all.

In other news Jaclyn and I finally made it to Fanny’s to use our ice cream vouchers. So good. And apparently there’s an ice cream buffet.

Ice cream.


There is nothing to be said about that besides why haven’t we been yet.


The Dark Side

We have moved to D2.

However, we haven’t fully gone to the dark side of colonial suburban expat life. Just hovering on the border – likely to be slowly sucked in.

In any case, meet our new space outside of the city centre, looming over the marsh people (aka the martians) like great superficial gods. Oi.