|the beautifully carved prow of one of the floating restaurants on West Lake...|
|beginning the wrapping of the cake in banana leaves...|
|the cake contains sticky rice that has been soaked overnight, green beans and top quality pork with enough fat to add some flavour...|
|after wrapping securely and tying with bamboo strips the cake is boiled for about 8 hours...|
Another man was making gorgeous little 'stick' figures with sticky rice dough...a bit like play dough but much more malleable and they harden eventually. I was particularly fascinated by his incredibly dexterous modelling techniques. I wish I could mould icing the way he moulded the sticky rice dough. I've got a couple drying out in the hopes that they will make it home to Oz with me in February.
|the only tools he used were a knife and an old plastic comb with teeth missing...amazing...|
|Tracy's little girl Franke with here sticky rice toy...|
|the texturing on the rose petals and the tigers extremities was done with the comb...|
|I just think they are so cute, and each only took him about 5 to 10 minutes to make...so fast...|
|we can't decide if it's a mouse or a cat...whatever - it's cute!|
|they were charging the grand total of 10,000vd per toy...that's 50c each...|
The final prong to the cultural trident was a calligrapher who produced beautiful flowing symbols on traditional hand made paper. Rosemary went a bit mad and ended up buying 4 for family and friends. I asked for the symbol for the kitchen god but he couldn't do that so I got Good Luck and Good Health. For all I know it could say 'the owner of this scroll is a moron' but I don't care because it looks just lovely. It's anchored top and bottom with bamboo and has a wee chain to hang it on the wall. It'll be a lovely reminder of my time here.
|the young man is actually a student, he can sometimes be found working outside the ground of the Temple of Literature...|
|his traditional garb really added to the whole atmosphere...|
|the banners were selling for 30,000vd ($1.50)...I hope he was working on commission because he did loads...|
|the hanging banner on the left with the two symbols is the same as mine...lovely isn't it?|