Thursday, March 22, 2012

And So Begins the Second Week

More Hue by the numbers ... the public urination count is up by two, on the male side, after this morning's walk on the other side of the Perfume River and through the produce market at Dong Ba followed by walking to meet the husband for lunch. In a different vein, the most expensive meal we have eaten was last night's dinner at $15. It was not, however, the best meal we have eaten here. That one cost $11 (for two beers, two entrees, and two desserts), and my entree of grilled pork skewers with vegetables, rice pancakes, and peanut sauce was one of the best dishes I have eaten anywhere ever. We shall be returning to that establishment (Golden Rice) so that the husband can try it. Total number of steps taken the last eight days while wearing my digital pedometer? That would be 122,004 steps, which according to the rubric of 2,000 steps equaling one mile means that I have walked some 61 miles. Go, me!

I still have not taken the bicycle out, but likely will this weekend when the husband can rent one and come with. I like walking and being able to stop when I like and shoot photos. I am getting more comfortable with taking shots on the street and would like to refine those skills further. I am working on a little photography challenge for myself: an alphabet of Hue. You've probably seen posters with the letter of the alphabet "found" on butterfly wings or in architecture. I'm trying to find the alphabet in Hue. I've found some letters in the branches of trees, others on buildings, others on fences. Some letters, the easy ones, I've found in multiple places. Others, the harder ones, I have yet to find. I also found myself this morning photographing colors as I walked through the produce market.

When we were here three years ago, I did a post about how women cover themselves to block the sun. A woman on a bicycle or scooter wearing short sleeves is very much the exception rather than the rule, and often the short sleeves are part of a uniform. Women who are in short sleeves often wear those long gloves that go over the elbow, you know, the gloves society types unlike me wear, only they're not quite as fancy. The face coverings at times remind me of Islamic women. New from what I saw three years ago is the jacket in which the hood actually has a brim to help shield the face. These jackets also have something else I find even more amazing: The sleeves are cut with an extra flap to cover the tops on the hands on the cycle handles or handlebars. These flaps are held in place by little rings that the fingers fit through. On this morning's walk, I again gravitated to the outdoor portion of Dong Ba Market. There is something about the colors, the odors, the noises there that I compellingly attractive. Also attractive is that no one is calling to me, "Madam, madam, you want to buy this?" This is the part of the market more frequented by the locals.
The people-watching opportunities are extensive.
It's also interesting to see what they are selling, everything from dragonfruit to sliced vegetables of the type I've eaten frequently in just a week. And while most of what they sell in this row of the market is produce, there's also meat. And sometimes the people and what they're selling combine to make for an even more interesting photo. Yes, she is talking on a cell phone. And now I must go make myself presentable as we have been invited to dinner at a floating restaurant by the Rector of the College of Education at Hue University. I have yet to decide whether to wear my sandals or black leather Vibram Five Fingers. The Five Fingers make more sense in that we will be walking a ways to get to and from the restaurant. On the other hand, they may make for some explaining across the language barrier. Decisions, decisions!


Debi said...

You really have clocked some miles in a short time! Go you indeed!

Looking forward to seeing your alphabet. :)

Kim said...

I love your market photos, esp those closeups of the neat foods.

I'm wondering - are there lots of blooming flowers in Hue at this time of year?

Also, do you ask the people if you can take their pictures? Or do you have a huge telephoto lens and they don't know you're there? Or do you just ...take the pictures? They're great. :)

Jean said...

There are flowers blooming everywhere, Kim, though one of the students mentioned last night that a certain tree would not bloom until summer. As for the photos of people, no, I do not typically ask permission and, yes, I do use a very long lens (17-200 zoom). Every now and then people will ask me to take their photo; usually these are children or young men. :-)