Sue-On went to a spa
with five other ladies from our travel group for massages, pedicures, manicures.
The business is owned by a friend of our CEO (Beam), so we were given 30%
off instead of the advertised 20%. It was Sue-On's first pedicure, other
than ones with the pediatrist. Three weeks of walking had built up some
calluses, so she was looking forward to having someone to take care of
those. She loved the whole treatment, followed by massage of the feet,
The other girls thought red,
not fire engine red, but a rich red would be perfect for her. The young
lady working on her pulled one out, put it on one toe, and yes ... it was
a hit! The whole 60 minutes cost around $15.00! She admitted that
it could become habit if it weren't so expensive back home.
She returned to the room around
noon, but Bill was still out, walking somewhere. He came in half an hour
later and had been walking for over 2.5 hours! He was drenched in sweat.
He was trying to walk in a methodical pattern, heading to the river, etc,
but not possible here! He was in some fields, small country lanes, and
had motorcyle drivers, and other people trying to give him a ride (for
pay of course).
We were ready for lunch, so went
into the hotel restaurant and ordered. They delivered to the room on a
big tray: sauteed morning glory, green beans and tofu (both starters),
and one main - beef with sesame seeds and a bowl of rice. It was great
eating in the A/C room! The dining room had only fans.
Not sure what dad will be up
to later, but I will be doing the cooking class at 4 pm. They take you
to the local market to get ingredients, then go back to cook. I wonder
if I'll be able to give them any cooking tips?
Sue-On went to a Vietnamese cooking
class at 4 pm with four others in our group. The chef and his assistant
taught four courses. We started off with a tour of the market place - where
all the locals go. Even for clothes, the people buy their fabric here then
take it to a tailor...much cheaper than doing everything at the tailor's.
You can buy anything there. A second part of the market is open only from
1:00 AM to 6:30 AM. This is like the "wholesale" section... for perhaps
restaurants, and the local vendors.
A taxi then took us to the "kitchen".
It was pretty cool place. The kitchen is inside an open courtyard, and
it is an open kitchen. We used butane "hot plates" and I had my own station.
This cooking class was way better than the one on Tuscany that I took at
ACC Culinary Arts. We had to prepare everything from scratch, and that's
the only way to really learn. So many of the steps are familiar to me,
and yet, so different.
The first item was the Rice Pancake
Hoi An Style, eaten with a dipping sauce of garlic, chili, cane sugar,
lime juice, and fish sauce. Reminded me of an omelet but with rice flour
batter. It was delicious. Then Chef did a Pork in Claypot for us to share,
starting with a caramel sauce. It was braising while we made our own dishes.
This was very good. We did our version of clay pot with tuna and allowed
it to braise slowly.
Then we all helped to make the
Green Papaya Salad. We also shredded carrot, taro, green onion, wood ear
mushrooms, garlic, minced pork and mixed that all up with some stock, salt
and pepper. The filling was wrapped in lacy rice paper then deep fried.
The dipping sauce for the Crispy Pancake worked well with these too.
A couple of the group had been
waiting to try durian as I had been talking and raving about it. I picked
one up at the market and had it cut up. They didn't mind the smell, and
all really enjoyed the taste! I also picked up some "custard apples", or
chirimoya... not my favourite, but glad we all tried them.
A storm was brewing as we were
cooking. The wind was strong, lots of thunder and lightning. It was a bit
eerie as there was a gong nearby, and the wind made it clang. There was
a slight misty rain, so a taxi was sent to take us back to the hotel...
around 8 pm.
While I was out cooking, Bill
had gone out with our CEO and another couple for supper at Beam's friend's
restaurant: Hong Phuc #2.