Since we decided to stay in Vinh this weekend, we figured we shouldn't just stay in the hotel reading and playing spades all day. Still distraught from our inability to watch Capote Friday night, we decided to roll out of the hotel and hit the streets. We went first to the local market, wandering through the fish section with all sorts of beautiful fish. Then we hit the meat department, which is always an adventure and usually leads to Kelli gagging once or twice. The market was dominated mostly by pig and its various parts. We saw the usually legs and ribs but also were lucky to see beautifully dissected hearts, kidneys, livers, small intestines, large intestines, ears and other not so identifiable parts waiting to be purchased and made up into a soup to be served to unsuspecting tourists.
On a more serious note, cruising the local markets has become one of my favorite things to do here. The strong smells, vibrant colors and loud shouts of merchants are pretty enchanting and intoxicating to me. While the conditions may not be cleanest, you can just tell that the meat and fish are incredibly fresh. You can see the huge variety of greens and fruits just waiting to be added to food to take it to the next level. Markets are very much the heart and soul of these communities.
After the market we headed to the internet cafe and then back to the hotel to gameplan for the rest of the day. Kelli wasn't too interested in lunch so I set out on my own and tried a place we had been to once earlier in the week. I got the same thing, noodles and BBQ pork, and went back to the hotel.
We decided to go for a walk, and after Kelli pointed in one direction, we set out. For some reason, we had it in our minds to find the MaxiMart that we passed on the way back into town from our Uncle Ho day. So we started wandering in the general direction we thought it was. Checking out the sights and trying to figure out where we will be matching for residency on March 19. We stopped at a school supply store to buy some dry erase markers for our English lessons and asked if they had a map of Vinh city. They did but it was quite large. Not that I could stick out anymore than I alrady do but I figured standing at an intersection looking at a huge map of the city would privde the locals with more laughs than I was already allowing them so we soldiered on directionless.
Not much later we passed a photo shop and after furiously looking for the words to passport and photo we stopped to ask if we could have photos made since we need them to get into Cambodia. The lady was thrilled to help and spent a good bit of time positioning Kelli's head just at the right angle before she was happy with the results. It took her less time to get a pic of me, but then she edited it some to remove the scruffy and sparse facial hair (which by the way puts Spencer's erratice facial hair pattern to shame) We seemed to make her day, so energized by yet another successful interaction with the locals we carried on our search for the MaxiMart. We wound up turing around without success and catching a cab back to the hotel. We made it home just in time to watch the rest of Capote pretty much at the exact point we were so rudely cut off from the night before. We then ventured out for a meal of Chao Ga at a place we had not been to since our first week in town.
Then it was back to get ready for a night of watching the locals sing.
All in all a good day. We are excited to continue work on our asthma project and another one on infectious diseasee this week and we have also started planning our vacation part of the trip. We will be flying to Saigon on Saturday and the next day we will be going to the Mekong Delta for a tour of the floating markets, a bike ride, a cooking class hopefully, and a home stay before leaving on March 3rd for Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. The it is on to the beaches of Thailand.