Diary of an Adventure

Vietnam Adventures

Saigon

Coffee culture is thriving, with designer places offering inflated priced coffee. There is such a variety, even ignoring the big chains like Starbucks, that it’s a taste-by-trial to find the brand, and roast to your taste. Some are too sweet, others bitter. Some are burnt, some are rocket fuel. Fortunately, none seem to be in the dish-water category. Some are terrible and probably the fake coffee that is sold, made of corn, chemicals and soybeans. Getting in, and out of the small spaces in the city is a different experience. Good air conditioning, often winning over coffee taste.

One of the special aspects of the Nocturnal Artist Restaurant in Hoi An is that the cooking is done in their home kitchen. Within the tiny space, the family shrine watches over the cooking. A small painting on 300 gram paper, ‘The Cooks Shrine’.

Neighbours coming over the rooftop to the patio of our top floor apartment first thing in the morning, a tad surprising. Guess we know whether we can sleep with the doors open! Assuming the heat, noise and mozzies aren’t enough of a reason to keeping them closed.

‘Pho fighting’, morning battle with Pho. The broth is tasty and full of all sorts of nutrients that are supposed to be healthy. However, managing it at the tiny table, compounded by slippery noodles and various floating bits that I would rather not have to confront. Working through the menu options is at least reducing the worst of them.

A grey from Naples yellow, Raw Sienna and Phthalo blue, which is one of the scariest colours as its strong pigmentation turns everything into a blue-green hue. However, with the Cadmium yellow deep it creates a balance that I used for the portrait of ‘A man in Hoi An’. 

During the flooding he seemed to wonder about the place, seemingly without purpose. Sometime we would see him on a scooter, but for the most part he simply observed the evacuation of people across the swollen river. With his baseball cap pulled low over his face, it was difficult to get a decent photo reference to work from.

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