Being Sunday, I taught two kiddies classes today. They are always noisy, but fun. Ann gave me my roster for next week... and whereas before I was doing 16 teaching hours a week, now I am booked in for 34 hours!! + preparation time that's at least a 55 hour week. I will have to be careful to pace myself, because that won't change until we get three more foreign teachers in... and no days off...
Anyway, at 5:30 most of the students from the VIP class picked us up (Dave, Ann, Oscar and me) from school and drove us to Do Son Beach for dinner. Do Son Beach is the favourite place to go for Hai Phong folk. They love the beach, the swimming and the seafood, and my students have been telling me I should go there ever since I got here, so it was a lovely surprise to find out that was our destination for dinner. We arrived just on dusk, but I took some photos out the window of the car... not the best, but they give you an ideaAll along the coastline near the beach there are little tables set out for people to have dinner
That's the main beach. Doson is just beginning to be developed with high rise resort accommodation. Apparently in summer you can't move for people, and it's a very festive, summer holiday kind of atmosphere.
This is a not very flattering pic of the actual beach... Lots of chairs for hire, and lots of umbrellas. Vietnamese people love to go tho the beach, but they're very careful to avoid the sun, so they sit in the shade (in swimmers) and the women swim with their clothes on. Even though it was getting dark, there were still some people swimming... apparently sharks are not a problem here. The only time there are decent waves is in a storm.
Can you see the kite? There was a lovely breeze keeping it cool.
Here we are, our table as close to the beach as you can getThis is Oscar, Dave, Aline (a doctor), Mountain (VATC vice-director) and School (businessman). Can you see the beach in the background?
These beautiful ladies are Laura (a business woman), Aline and Anna (she manages a large under-cover market in Hai Phong). The blessing for me is that their English is strong enough to carry a conversation, so we can communicate quite well. They are delightful company.That's Mountain and School on the left, Aline's husband Mike (also a doctor), Oscar and Ann... and then the feast began...
This interesting nibbly is dried squid... tough as old boots. To eat it you pull of shreds of 'fibre'. It has a pleasant, mild flavour and fills in the time! Next came out these enormous oysters... fresh and delicious
The shell is as big as the rice bowl!
Next on the menu were these wonderful mussels.
Then it was a humungous cooked oyster still in it's whole shell...check out how big this baby is!! And look what came next....
The sauce on these crabs was caramelised tamarinds and oysters...Laura piled up my plate... the back shell has the red eggs (a delicacy) and of course, the claw and body has the amazing meat... scrumptious!
(sorry about the hair pulled back... but there was that wind)
These BBQ'd prawns were great, too. Laura explained to me that if they are not alive just before skewering, they are given to the cat.... guaranteed fresh!
I thought that was it but they bought out another course... soup to finish off the meal! with this tasty chicken and tiny oyster omelette, and rice...
I should have scooped up a ladle full so you could see all the yummy things in this soup... tiny shellfish and oysters, tomatoes and vegies... very tasty. So on top of all that wonderful seafood, you have a bowl of rice and omelette, then rice and soup! How on earth is it that Vietnamese people are all so slim?? So even though that was the end of the meal, they still brought out green tea, and this yummy grapefruit (not at all sour like grapefruit at home)!
They dip it in dried chilli and salt
Then we took some photos of everyone...
Ann and Ann
Dave and the girls
|School, Mike and Aline, Anna, Dave, Mountain, me, Ann, Oscar and Laura|