November 12, 2022

Mentos with lunch

Bun Dau Mam Tom

Bun Dau Mam Tom

We get mentos with our bun dau mam tom.

Bun Dau Mam Tom

The culprit is the mam tom, the pungent shrimp sauce. Some people, including many Vietnamese, don’t like the smell. It can be divisive, like Nato in Japan or the Durian in Singapore. Hence the mentos for when you get back to civilisation.

Bun Dau Mam Tom

Notice also the 1980s design of the shop, appealing to nostalgia. Now I miss Hanoi. Let’s go there soon.

Vietnam food Saigon
November 10, 2022

Deep in the alley

the alley with vegetarian food

Inside an alley in Saigon, Hoa showed me a hidden vegetarian place.

the alley with vegetarian food

the alley with vegetarian food

the alley with vegetarian food

the alley with vegetarian food

The nice thing about inner alleys is that most neighbours house doors are open. This lets us eavesdrop on their lives. We try to imagine their backstories.

the alley with vegetarian food

This is 68/11 Le Van Sy. If you don’t find it at first, keep walking deep into the alley. Something wonderful is always found.

Saigon food
October 29, 2022

The return of Barcampsg

From 2008 to 2017, we ran yearly unconferences in Singapore called Barcamp Singapore. People loved this event where everyone came together to learn from each other.

Thanks to the folks at GeekcampSG, who offered us space at their event, we got a chance to revive the Barcamp after the long gap. We do not have a fixed speakers or schedule. The discussion topics are decided at the venue by the participants. The range of topics is interesting.

Barcamp Singapore 2022 The opening of Geekcamp/Barcamp.

Barcamp Singapore 2022 A discussion on note taking and diagramming tools.

Barcamp Singapore 2022 A discussion on online scams.

Barcamp Singapore 2022 A discussion on Twitch streaming and the life of a live streamer.

Barcamp Singapore 2022 A discussion on why Agile is overrated.

Barcamp Singapore 2022 Discussion on documentation.

Barcamp Singapore 2022 More discussions on online scams.

Barcamp Singapore 2022 Talking about communication between developers and non-technical people in a team.

Barcamp Singapore 2022 A discussion on Notion.

barcamp Singapore
September 30, 2022

For a free giraffe

Some years back Thao invited me to the Pham Viet Chanh neighbourhood assuring free views of giraffe (and other tall animals) from the Saigon zoo across the canal. Now this has become my home. If you are at the zoo, you can see a large dark animal across the canal for free.

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

International and local food in Pham Viet Chanh

Map of Pham Viet Chanh in Saigon

Saigon
September 21, 2022

Saigon’s Japan Town via iPhone Pro 14

This is the place I often return to when I want to test a new camera.

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon’s Japan Town

Saigon Enclaves
September 17, 2022

Yangtze

Can you love another country so much that you dedicate most of your life to it? In the early 1980s, a Japanese musician Sada Masashi visited China on a concert tour and fell in love with Yangtze river. He returned to China to make a documentary on the river and the life along it. It was expensive filming, had to hire People’s Liberation Army Air Force helicopters for the aerial shots. Sada Masashi took out a 3.5 billion Yen loan for the production. It took him 30 years to repay the loan.

The result is a beautiful time capsule of the unique period in China’s modern history. It’s on Youtube with Japanese narration, Chinese subtitles. Don’t worry about the language, just let the visuals speak.

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There are many interesting backstories and trivia about this, remind me when we meet

Yangtze Sada Mashashi returns to China.

Yangtze Sada Mashashi hitchhikes. The documentary is shot very much how vlogs are presented these days. Though in those days, they would have had a crew following the presenter around.

Yangtze Sada Mashashi finds kids floating on a tyre and fishing in the pod with their bare hands.

Yangtze The Buddha or Leshan in Sichuan province.

Yangtze Sada Mashashi is not happy with how the Japanese army destroyed Nanjing.

Yangtze Probably one of the earliest crepe maker in China. 80s was like the spring. Things were getting relaxed in China. People were putting up small business.

China Japan Travel