One day, sometime after Christmas, a large group of us drove up to Mong Cai for some apparently cheap cheap shopping. It was about an 8 hour drive north, as it’s right on the Vietnam/China border, which is why things there are so cheap. This, my dears, is where you can get all the legit Luis Vutiton and Verascae clothing and purses, if that was your desire. The scenery there was gorgeous, though the roads, as always, were rocky at best.

However, you had to bargain your ass through everything in the market, and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s haggling. Just let me buy things at the right price, people, and stop trying to rip me off. Ffuuuu. I’ll just let other people do the talking for me, however, and I’ll just pay whatever price they say. I don’t care.

It’s a bit bad though, because I’m not holding Canadian currency, spending Vietnamese dollars is like water. Just here, I’ll pay for this, this and that, and before you know it, I’ve run out of cash. Horrible mentality.

We stayed at a family friend’s hotel that night and were served the absolute grossest meal I’ve ever seen. Well, gross because we were so Canadian that we couldn’t bear to even look at it. Actually, most of my family couldn’t, even the recent immigrant. So, the parents were forced to eat it out of politeness while the rest of us starved ourselves, waiting to go somewhere else to eat. You know, if I were served this in Canada, I’d probably eat it. Actually, if it was anywhere else, I would have eaten it but because I have a really skewed perception of Vietnam, most likely in a negative way, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it.We did get served this wonderful corn juice though, which was boiled and mashed corn, slightly strained, and mixed with a condensed coconut milk of some sort. So sweet, so fattening, so delicious.

Silkworms stir-fried with bean sprouts and onions.

Sauteed lizard.

Fried gator.

Stewed lizard.

This cold-blooded cooking though, blehh, so gross. Even looking at the images now, I remember the taste, the chewy, sinewy texture, the toughness. *shiver* Nope, no sir, can’t take it.

Mong Cai was uneventful for the most part. We went shopping during the day, went back to the hotel at night, did a little karaoke, and then slept. We left the next morning. I was a little miffed because I thought we were actually going to cross the border and going into China, but no, we stayed in Vietnam.