Can Tho is a small town and the moment we arrived, the sister of my aunt’s friend already asked us for dinner. During meal, she introduced us to one of her distant nephew and he promised a tour of the Cai Rang market the following morning. We were picked up at the hotel by the river early in the morning on a very small boat. Dinky as it was, the motor spurted up and off we went against the current of the Hau river for one hour to Cai Rang market. I’m used to see the trucking industry in the US with their massive warehouses, I thought Cai Rang floating market was for show, but there was quite a bit of haggling going on among the sellers and buyers and the competition was fierce.
Sellers hoist their fruits on tall poles so people can see the good. Engines are down so people can hear and bargain. I listened to some lively disgruntle banter. It was all good because it wasn’t for tourists ears!
I can have my fill of watermelons in the US, but fresh durian and mit to nu (special small and sweet jackfruit) is the specialty here.
We stopped next to a place that still made hu tieu noodle by hand. This noodle soup is a specialty of the delta region, just like Pho is the specialty of the north, and bun bo Hue is the specialty of the central Vietnam. Rice flour mixed with other flours are soaked overnight, briefly steamed over strung fabric, then laid out on a bamboo mats. They dry in the sun for the day then cut into noodle. It was already 90+ degree outside and inside was like a oven. The fuel to heat the stove comes from rice husks so at least the air was clean.
Living the US and working in an office building made me used to the neutral colors of black, gray, and white. On a good day, I would add a highlight of aqua or a touch of orange. My eyes were not accustomed to the bold geometrics patterns and bright colors everywhere in Vietnam. This lady is a sight to behold.