Things I Ate in Vietnam

In my personal experience, food and travelling go hand in hand. This is why this blog is dedicated to both the places I visit and the things I eat. I recently started making Youtube videos and here’s my most recent one, dedicated to various things I ate during my trip in Vietnam. Some were more or less strange, most were delicious. I hope you enjoy watching it! Please give it a thumbs up and do leave comments!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK4_8UHr9pk

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Little pound cakes made in the streets of Saigon

Vietnam on Film

Other film photographers out there will know how precious your undeveloped rolls can be. When it comes to digital photography, there are now so many ways to save your photos (even instantly if there’s a wifi function on your camera) that it makes it more difficult to consider a computer file as “precious”. It’s a bit different with film photography. As long as your roll hasn’t been developed, your photos aren’t “safe”. Here are a few accidents that could happen:

-the film could get exposed due to bad manipulation ✓
-you could lose your roll and that’s your photos gone forever
-the development could go wrong ✓
-there could be an error when manipulating the film on the part of the people in charge ✓

I’ve only been shooting film for a year and three of the four above have happened to me. I must say, it was not the most glorious day of my life, completely exposing my very first roll because I hadn’t rewind my camera well…
As for the last two: as someone who used to work in a photo shop and handle other people’s film, I was always terrified something would go wrong and I’d be responsible for losing their precious work. You would think that it could have prevented me from making mistakes when it comes to choosing what to do with my own rolls but you’ll be surprised at the situations I’ve put myself into…

2 lessons I’ve learnt so far:

-do not confide anyone with your rolls, unless they’re also a film photographer. You could trust a person, and yet they wouldn’t understand the value of your film photographs. So always relie on yourself (a rule I also extend to life in general…)
-find one shop where to develop your rolls and stick to it; I know it can be tempting, when you’re travelling to find a shop that’s much cheaper than back home but you don’t know if their chemicals are in order and if the people working there are competent. For my part, I thought I had lost three entire rolls of my trip to Vietnam because I let myself convinced to develop them there. Thankfully I was able to bring the negatives to the one shop where I get my film developed in London and they were able to save most of my photos.

On that note, here are the photos I have rescued!! And please do leave a comment: I would love your feedback, and share your film stories!! (photos taken with my Pentax K1000)

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Crossing the road in Saigon

Crossing the road in Saigon can be a scary experience for foreigners. Remember the scene at the beginning of Mulan when the grandma crossed the road with the cricket? That’s it. There aren’t many zebra crossings and red lights, and when there are, 50% of vehicle drivers don’t even acknowledge them. The best way to go around town is to be confident, look around, take a deep breath and just go for it. Not the time to be texting while crossing the road of course. The thing is that no one drives really fast, and motocycles can avoid you easily so it’s ok if the road isn’t completely clear. You’ll get used to it after practicing a couple of times.

On that note, here’s a youtube video I’ve uploaded where I give you a little tour of Saigon while on my cousin’s motocycle. Hope you enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HrqzHKURRc

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Bilan février 2016

My trip to Vietnam has played an important role in my quest to “find myself” this year: I wrote not long ago about finally embracing the French side in me.
After 4 years of absence, I finally went back to Vietnam to see my family in Saigon and celebrate a major event with them: Têt, the lunar new year. It was only when I saw them again that I realised how long I had been away and how much I had missed them. My young cousins were all grown up, their personalities had developed, events had happened. On the other hand my grandmother never seems to age! But something that struck me was how much I identified to the people there. I knew it before, but after being gone for 4 years you forget.
Of my siblings I’m the one who looks the least Asian, and it’s always a surprise when I wander around Saigon for Vietnamese people to hear me talk to them, in my mom’s accent. It always makes me feel torn: proud that I was able to learn my motherland language, while at the same time feeling like I don’t belong because of my appearance… . But then I see the people, the laughter, the joy, the flavours they like, the manners, the mimicking and I feel at home.

Take me back to Hô Chi Minh City

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRddl5qdzqE

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