This week was quite filled up with an entertaining moment in Saigon. Although I stay home all day working on Expat Bug on weekdays, I hang out on my lunch break with our maid, but also friend Thu as well as I go out in the evening to keep on discovering the city.

1. Rock climbing at a Saigon Outcast bar

On Wednesday evening, I rode my bike to District 2 – to Thao Dien exactly – to go to a bar. Not a drinking night, but a climbing one. Saigon Outcast is a little gem in D2 where girls get to climb for free – only pays 50.000VND for your harness and shoes – on hump days. What better way to get to know people but to help each other out to find the best grips / route to the top of the wall.

I met 2 American girls, a German couple and a little Vietnamese chick. The 30-minute bike ride under the slight rain was worth the experience and workout. Come along on Wednesdays to climb all the way to the top with Push Climbing.

 

2. More local Vietnamese treats offered by my friend Thu

One of the perks of having a maid besides not having to clean your own place is to get to know better every day the Vietnamese culture. Not only I learn new words and expressions in Vietnamese, but I also get to eat some of the local and traditional snacks from Vietnam.

This week, my friend Thu brought me a little something to eat to satisfy my curiosity. This is how I ate a steamed glutinous rice bun filled with pork. The bun is really soft and moushy, but it gives the full snack a great texture that is not as filling as the original buns we have in Western countries. The pork seemed to be compact like a tofu block.

Another day I had a moon cake. This little Chinese pastry was filled with pork and an egg. I loved the fact that it came in a transparent plastic bag on which was written « Because I want to see your face with a smile ».

Our privileged time together at lunch time is always full of laughter, cultural learning and interesting discussions about life as a couple, a mother or a woman. The language difference is sometimes a small barrier, but we always end up understanding each other with gesture, simple words or Google Translate.

 

3. French hip-hop at Piu Piu Bar

Finally, on Thursday night, the French bar Piu Piu invited the French DJ « Cut Killer ». Steve & I enjoyed a few beers as well as the old-fashion hip-hop from both France and the U.S. Skeptical at first, Steve enjoyed the performance which brought him back to his high school time as well as it made him discover some famous hip-hop French artists.

The bar was packed, mostly with French people, but also with a few Vietnamese boys and girls. We eye caught a dude passing out from drinking too much. We also saw a French guy trying really hard to flirt with ladies. I am not even speaking of the waiters who were having difficulties to make their way to the customers’ table.

 

On our way back, the taxi driver was pretty bad. He dropped us off in the middle of a small alleyway where we’ve never been before. Our house is hard to find since it is located near a street that few Vietnamese drivers don’t know (Nguyen Canh Chan) and it is situated in a tiny alley after making the first right, then second right in the maze of our neighborhood.

Another week full of entertaining experiences and activities. Going to local events is my own way of discovering a new city. What I enjoy learning more about are the local culture and its people. I also like to experience new activities and traditional food and habits.


Online discoveries of this week

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