1. Find the shop that sold the flower embosser - 100,000vd here, about $17 in Oz.
2. Return to the DVD shop with my computer so I wouldn't buy anymore dud movies (that simply wouldn't play or were dubbed out of sync).
3. Find and write down the address of the movie theater that Rosemary and I had been to once and never found again.
4. Take the books I had already read back to Bookworm to part exchange for some new ones.
So I rugged up...it's still pretty cold here, and set off; map in hand.
Taking the scenic route over the causeway I had no problems getting to the place I thought the movie theatre was meant to be...one street over and hurrah...there it was 20 Hang Bai (near the corner of Hai Ba Trung) only a block from the lake. We like it because it's a lot cheaper than the big Megamovie theatre and there's a funny little restaurant nearby where we can eat inside (on these cold dark nights that's a drawcard).
When I got to the lake I saw that some of the Tet decorations were up. Huge balloons that look like beach balls were bobbing over the lake, suspended by filament lines.
|It looks quite whimsical; all the balloons dancing with their vibrant red tails flowing in the breeze.|
|It doesn't matter how often I see this tiny pagoda in the middle of Hoan Kiem lake, I still stop and admire it's miniature perfection.|
|Our first attempts with the piping pin|
|Even the stuff ups look quite pretty|
I popped into Dong Xuan markets as I went past to check out material (I'm getting some stuff made up)...happened to glance over the banister as I was climbing the stairs and saw this wonderful angle...it's the dried fruit...looks great.
|Look at what's holding up the second tier...|
Number three was ticked off also - DVD shop found and DVD's checked before buying (out of 8 that I checked 3 worked). Then I headed for Bookworm. This wonderful little place is at the back of the Hanoi Cooking Center. They sell new and second hand books, but they also pay 1/3 of the marked price for your old books. I've been three times now, it's a great way to keep overheads low and yet still have plenty of reading material.
Tracy noticed me as I passed the kitchen window and we had a nice catch up. When she heard that I had quite a bit of free time she offered me her Vietnamese cooking classes in exchange for presenting classes to her staff. I'd mentioned the croquembouche class I'd done at Koto so we arranged to do another the next day.
It was a great success, Tracy's business partner Mr Linh took some amazing photos of the class but I've yet to get hold of them so please be patient.
By the time the class finished it was 6.30pm and since his family were out of Hanoi Mr Hung and I set off on another culinary adventure...he took me to the 'sticky rice' street. It's the perfect food for the cold weather. A layer of sticky rice at the bottom of the bowl, topped with a thin of slivers of green bean 'dough' (the beans are cooked into a sort of dough, much like a very dense mashed potato but more solid) then either pate or the lovely Vietnamese 'meatloaf' and slices of sausage. It was really tasty and perfect for the shivery weather.
|this is the sticky rice with the pate|
|With the pate on the left, pickles and with the meatloaf and yummy thin slices of spicy sausage...|
After that we had to pop into Mr Hung's favourite bia hoi in the old quarter...but the sticky rice filled us both up and we could only manage one drink before heading home. He was off to the country to cook for hundreds of people the next day as his brother was getting married.
I had a disastrous start to the next day...but more of that later...