when am I?

I take so long fiddling with the pictures, it cuts into blog time.  I have a happy Buddha that I'm going to try to send, but not now. I mean,  my computer thinks it's 6 o'clock yesterday and so do you, but by me it's 5 a.m. tomorrow. I mean it's April First here in the library on Insignia, and in spite of more hours of sleep than I am accustomed to enjoying I could sleep again right now. That's me, with trimmed bangs and waxed eye brows in Baristas, a coffee bar on Deck Five.  I have an Americano coffee there in the morning after my swim, that is, when I'm here. Yesterday morning we were on a bus by 8 a.m., heading for the Mekong Delta(about 70 miles) to se the most beautiful, oldest (I think) temple where I took a picture of a laughing Buddha, before we went for a river cruise and lunch (more anon), and then a quiet, wondrous ride in a "gondola" (a four passenger rowboat, paddle-poled by a woman who pointed to her home to me in amidst the jungle of trees).  That took us back to the river boat, back to the bus, back to the ship. It took about 6 or 7 hours.  I had tea in Horizons where it is served every afternoon at 4 p.m., and enjoyed the departure of the ship out to the China Sea, heading for Hanoi. Having trouble keeping my head up, but I had some of my wine with fellow passengers while we waited for dinner (halibut). I managed to keep my head out of the fish and went to bed about 8:30 p.m.  Still tired. Today is a brief sailing day; we dock late afternoon and I'm going to a Water Puppet Show tonight.

But I have to tell you about the lunch menu in the Mekong. On each table for six, in an open, thatch-roofed dining hall, a decorated, flat fish welcomed us.  It was an Elephant's Ear (the nickname).  The waiter or waitress dismantled it wearing latex gloves and a wielding a knife that proved to be less useful than skilful fingers to tear off the flesh and avoid the bones.  Edible rice paper packages were wrapped around the fish with thin slices of seasoned cucumber and I'm not sure what else. Three dipping sauces waited at our plates for personal use, one with a salt and pepper mix that we wet with a green kumquat  (I think); a sweet, hot pink sauce, and  a fish sauce. An oval loaf that looked like bread was cut into pieces with sharp scissors; it was sticky rice. We also dipped something like spring rolls with a different wrapping into the sauce of our choice. We each received a big clump of noodles in our eating bowl, with soup ladled on. The soup had stuff in it, too. I don't know what the lumps were but they tasted good. What else?  Oh, big giant shrimp that the waitress peeled for us and we dipped. Slices of fresh pineapple.  And beer.  (or a soft drink if desired --aargh).

Oh, dear, it's 25 to 6 here and I have to get ready to swim at 6.   

More to come.



Photo on 2015-03-29 at 10.25 PM.jpg