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Last day in Hoi An

Hoi An, Vietnam

The last day in Hoi An was quite quiet. I bought a mystery thing in a banana leaf parcel, which turned out to be a sweet glutinous rice ball, stuffed with coconut; very nice!
I bought Sellotape from a stall at the market, where a pair of very cheeky girls tried brazenly to rip me off. After haggling them down to 20000, from an outrageous 80000 for a wee roll of tape, they tried the classic "one more, one more for 20000" trick when I handed over the 100000 note. I was ready for this, though, and told them how cheeky they were. Then, to get them back, I decided to take a photo of them as I left; but as soon as I took my camera out, one of the girls said "10000! 10000!" and hid her face.

During this time Joanne was off spending nearly half-a-million on dresses! I just sat and drank and people watched (and photo'd).

I also took the opportunity to sample another local speciality: fish steamed in banana leaf. The guide books all rave about it, albeit in different, more expensive establishments than the one we were in. While waiting for my food, I went to the toilet, which required me to walk past the kitchen.

On the way back to my seat, I happened to notice something looking roughly fish-shaped, going round and round in the microwave, with absolutely no banana leaf anywhere near it. Well, clearly it couldn't be my fish steamed in banana leaf. Yet, when my fish arrived, in its banana leaf, it had the chewy, dry texture you might expect of something microwaved, rather than the juicy, soft texture of something steamed. Also the garlic and herbs over the top didn't seem to have infused any flavours into the fish as you might expect in a steaming situation; in fact they seemed almost as if they had been fried and then plopped on top of the fish, presumably just before they wrapped it in a re-usable banana leaf; it had a mystery red sauce on parts of it, which didn't have anything to do with my fish. Oh well, you can't win them all!

permalink written by  The Happy Couple on February 9, 2009 from Hoi An, Vietnam
from the travel blog: Michael's Round-the-World honeymoon
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