Thursday, September 27, 2007

Third Day in Vietnam

Thursday, 20 September 2007 - "Flying Rice"

We (colleague and agents) visited a University. As they were busy preparing for their 10th anniversary celebration on Saturday (22 September 2007), the meeting was cut short. However, one of the lecturers gave us a tour around the campus. I’m surprised that they are still using blackboard and chalk to teach. It reminds me of my school days. However, they have good facilities for food technology programme.

Saigon Technology University

As the meeting was really short, the 2 lovely agents in Vietnam took me shopping at Ben Tanh market – the place I shopped on the first day. They helped me to bargain and advised me on the best buy. What did I buy?
• A pair of sandals
• Tiny forks and spoons made of buffalo horn
• 3 wooden mirrors
• 1 wooden jewellery box
• 14 T-shirts
• 1 Vietnamese costume for Jordan
• 10 wooden painted butterflies for display

For lunch, they took me to Pho 24 – the place I had dinner on the first night. Pho 24 is everywhere. This one is next to Ben Tanh market. Nearby the hotel, there are 2 more Pho 24 restaurants. It reminds me of the 7-ll outlets in Hong Kong – you can find it in almost every corner. I ordered the same combo set – beef noodle, cane drink and caramel custard.

As it was still early, we went back to Ben Tanh market to shop again! I bought:
• A lantern
• The Kissing pigs for Jordan

It was almost 1 pm – time to leave for the next meeting.

The next meeting was at FPT University. It was a fruitful discussion. The MOU was signed by various parties, so I look forward to welcome students from the University.

The men had their own agenda after the meeting. For me, I decided to return to the hotel, used the Wifi at the Givral Palace in the hotel, and waited for my colleague, Anis who was arriving in the evening. She arrived at the hotel before 5:30 pm. This is her 3rd visit to Vietnam.

For dinner, Anis took my other colleague and me to a restaurant that serves “flying rice”. It’s very interesting indeed. The rice is cooked until it is almost burnt – so, it is a bit crispy, and looks like a rice cake. The serving is very unique – 2 persons are involved. On one end, one person breaks the plate and throws the rice to other person who stands next to our table. This second person catches and bounces it a few times before serving it. Next, he would mix the various sauces onto the rice and serve. Since we ordered two “flying rice”, they performed the stunt twice. The taste – as good as the serving!

I heard from my colleague that there were occasions when then second person failed to catch the rice. Then, the customers would “Woo” them. Hehehe! The rest of the dishes were pretty normal.

Since it was raining, we went back to the hotel – no more shopping for the day.

Our pot of rice

Steamed Fish

Chicken with cashew nuts

The "Flying Rice"

The sauces for "Flying Rice"

Video clip of the "Flying Rice"

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