18 Mar Dalat
Although, we have quite a few sad moments and we have a lot on our mind while spending our days in Dalat, we still get out to see the town. After all a little distraction is good for us.
Dalat is located on the Langbian Plateau in the Central Highland region of Vietnam. It is surrounded by pine tree covered mountains and was initially built as a resort town by the French in the early 1900s.
There are plenty of hotels and restaurants, a golf course, botanical garden, a big man made lake with pedal boats and lots and lots of flower gardens.
The French built many villas and boulevards and the Swiss flair is still present today and lures in many tourists.
Since we do not like to stay, where most tourists stay, we decided to take a room in one of the guest houses at the edge of town. There are a few little local eateries close by and it only takes us about 15-20 minutes to walk into town and even less to get to the grocery store.
We usually have rice,egg, and pork chop breakfast a couple of houses down the road. Sometimes it comes with soup and tea, other times it does not. For dinner, we occasionally treat us to pizza and hamburger at the local fast-food place and a western style restaurant that actually served real stew and goulash. To offset the budget we alternate and go to the local hole-in-the-wall family place and have Nem Nuong (some sort of self rolled spring roll) and we also stop at a little place that sells some sort of pancake looking meal.
As we walk by small table with the hot sizzling pancake griddles, the older lady working there notices our curious looks and ushers us to sit down.
She points over to the griddles and holds three fingers up and we agree, ‘yes, we want three portions of that good looking stuff’
Shortly afterwards she comes back with a few bowls, a plate of lettuce leaves and herbs, and some sort of sauce. Then she returns, with what we thought were pancakes. The flat, round disks look like pancakes. Pancakes with shrimp in it and a much different texture, though.
She puts a plate of the in the middle of the table and brings a pair of scissors.
Afterwards, she quickly decides, that we have no clue, what we are eating and takes care of Ron’s meal. She grabs a bowl, puts some lettuce in it, some sauce, then she grabs the scissors takes the shrimp-cake and swiftly cuts it into pieces for him. The whole time she’s smiling and laughing and it sounds like she is giving us the verbal instructions to go along with the prep work. Afterwards, she hands Ron the chopsticks and tells him to eat.
Jessica and I watch and follow suit. The meal is delicious and light and we soon empty our plates. Before we get to grab the last piece though the lady brings over more pancakes. Maybe it is her motherly instinct or Ron looks like he is either starving or in need of extra help, but for some reason the kind older lady keeps coming back to cut up more pancakes for him.
A couple of times we wander through town, get tea or iced coffee and watch the local traffic and people go by, or we walk through one of the small local parks.
We check out the old train station with it’s novelty train and cab use and treat ourselves to fried sweet bananas.
After a few days of physical and mental recovery, we decide it is time to move on.