Slaughterhouses and scallops
So I am just back from a ten-day jaunt down in Saigon. The majority of time down there was spent sitting in meetings with colleagues, or with our collaborative partners here in Vietnam. The meetings were research planning meetings for a project we are facilitating down in the south regarding emerging zoonotic diseases. Basically – diseases that are transferable between animals and humans. H1N1 and swine flu would probably be the most well-known to those of you not as educated as I in the intricate workings of livestock. Anyways, the result of these meetings – from a personal point of view – is that sometime in the next six weeks, I will be standing in a small-scale, backyard slaughterhouse, somewhere in the Mekong at midnight – as our partners extract biological samples from pigs just before they are stunned and slaughtered. For anyone that knows me, this is going to come across as completeeeeely comical that I will be anywhere near a slaughterhouse, let alone livestock again.
Anyways, apart from that, whilst down there I was able to catch up with some good friends, make some new friends, and just generally revel in one of my favourite cities. I think when I am down there, I tend to bash Hanoi a lot more than maybe I should. I am probably pandering to the sentiment of people in the South that Hanoi, and the north – is basically not worth their time. I think it is compounded in me because I am so much more comfortable down there and up here, my sense of adventure and willingness-to-explore is a tad restrained due to the language barriers I encounter. Although – to be fair, Saigon and Hanoi are in a lot of ways, so starkly different that they could be in two completely different countries.
Ok, I will stop this internal monologue and just post what you all came here to see. Photos.
Andy and Nomes
Laughing at Loks on the rooftop of Casbah
Nomes and I outside Acoustic
Rainer and Kor enjoying some late night western delicacies
Amazing Du Mien cafe with Kor
Grilled scallops with spring onions and peanuts – $US2.50
Breakfast of Champions at my Aunts Cafe – Com Tam Bi Suong Cha Trung Op La – $US1.40