Hoi An market
Woke up 9am feeling pretty stuffed. Headed down for a poolside breakfast of cocopops, apple juice, a banana pancake, fresh pineapple/mango/dragonfruit, and a chocolate croissant. Yum! Headed off to Gioan cookery class (94B Bach Dang St), led by Hanh, at 10:15am. First up we took a taxi to the local market where we saw a few fruits and veggies we hadn't seen before, such as bitter melon and watermarrow. Hanh had a beautiful, lively personality. She had a really engaging laugh too, and made lots of jokes. Her English was really good and she knew some Kath & Kim quotes! I had a chocolate shake before the class started which was really nice. We cooked 5 dishes: sweet and sour chicken soup, fried spring rolls, green papaya salad, chicken in banana leaf, and aubergine in clay-pot.
Goian cooking class
Without a doubt, the quality of the food was superb! Hanh kept us thoroughly entertained the entire time with amusing comments. We all helped with the chopping and grating but Hanh did most of the work. When we sat down to eat the food was heavenly. I enjoyed the aubergine (eggplant) the most, which I didn't expect. Anyway, after enjoying the sumptuous meal we thanked Hanh for a lovely morning and all tipped her. I purchased the awesome grater we had used in the class. My next stop was Blue Eye tailors which Y had recommended the previous night. I decided (after about an hour of umming and ahhing) on a peacock/royal blue chiffon dress and the grey coat I had spotted the previous night, for a total of US$135. Ms Lan measured me up. She was just 21 and had been a tailor for 4 years, working 6 days a week for 14 hours a day.
The beautiful Hanh, our cooking teacher
She was very friendly and extremely patient. I love the coat already and am not entirely convinced about the dress but we'll see how the fitting goes tomorrow. I was exhausted after spending ages in the shop and briefly perused a shoe shop before starting to walk back to the hotel. On the way I stopped at a bookstore and bought 2 (photocopied) books, 'Catfish and Mandala', an excellent book by Andrew X. Phan, and a book about the My Lai massacre, which was very interesting (160,000D total). I picked up my washing from Mr Chin (30,000D for 2kg) opposite the hotel, then changed into my bathers before hitting the pool. It was a super nice pool and I really enjoyed my cool, relaxing swim. Had a nice shower and washed my hair. At 7pm met up with the group and headed to the Cargo Club restaurant and Hoi An Patisserie for tea, which K had picked. For 160,000D I had a 'Cinderella' (pineapple/lime/orange juice, soda and grenadine mocktail), a burning hot spicy chicken fajita, and a mouth-watering chocolate cheesecake for dessert. I am thinking about getting Y's ring copied if I can, I really like it. It's a thin gold band with little cubic zirconias coming off it like leaves off a vine. After tea walked along the shops to get home and I stopped in at Lotus Jewellery which I had spied when walking to the restaurant. There I bought a silver ring for US$18 that was in a thick vine pattern on the upper side. It was a little unusual which was why I liked it. After that shop I headed back to the hotel and crashed into bed, exhausted by so many nights of little sleep. Slept for about 11 hours I think!