Rice and Fruit: Mekong River Delta

December 30, 2013

We spent two nights on a sampan on the Mekong.  We stopped at one village market and another in a small city.  The markets were bustling with conversation and commerce, like we are used to in Mexico.  We have gotten so far from our food in the US, I am even more grateful for Way Out farmstead, Tristan and Aubyn, our local Coyle market. 

There was a battered copy of “After Sorrow – An American Among the Vietnamese” by Lady Borton.  Reading just a few chapters of that book added to my understanding of the culture of the Mekong.  As I walked the markets filled the unusual fruits that I have been growing accustomed to, I considered what the people ate in the twelve years that it took this land to recover from Agent Orange.

These photos were taken by Chris McLane.

Rice weighs heavy on the boats

Rice weighs heavy on the boats

Rice chaff is light, used for fuel, especially for making bricks.

Rice chaff is light, used for fuel, especially for making bricks.

Rambutans, a new fruit for me.  Open the spiny exterior for a sweet milky fruit with a pit that reminds me of loquat.

Rambutans, a new fruit for me. Open the spiny exterior for a sweet milky fruit with a pit that reminds me of loquat.

The markets were rich in fresh vegetables and fruits, fish and rice.

The markets were rich in fresh vegetables and fruits, fish and rice.

"Ha Low!"  Kids, adults, everyone tries a little English and cracks up when we respond.  I felt like the Rose Queen, waving and greeting.  It was so much fun.

“Ha Low!” Kids, adults, everyone tries a little English and cracks up when we respond. I felt like the Rose Queen, waving and greeting. It was so much fun.

Taking the boat into Cambodia, we noticed how populated the river was in Viet Nam and not so much in Cambodia.

Taking the boat into Cambodia, we noticed how populated the river was in Viet Nam and not so much in Cambodia.

Sitting room at the bow of the sampan with Mark and me.

Sitting room at the bow of the sampan with Mark and me.

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