|live crab trying to get in one last pinch|
|"eeee! being boiled hurts!"|
They also told me they were cooking sweet potatoes. The first thing that crossed my mind "OMG yes! I can't believe they have sweet potatoes here!" Well, let's just say it is not exactly, your average sweet potato. Case in point:
|vietnamese sweet potato|
Basically they shove this potato like thing into the coals of the fire and wait for it to blacken and then you are supposed to peel it open and eat the insides. Can't say I would order it again but I am glad I tried it.
|ya know--octopus..your typical campfire food of choice|
The next morning we woke up really early in order to visit the locals in the town who make their living off of clamming. Incredible experience, I have to say. I was waaaaaay in depths of Vietnam. I am 95% pretty sure that none of these people have interacted with a foreigner, let alone a bouncy little red-headed birder. And let alone, one that wants to join their daily clamming adventures. I was heavily stared at and was even asked to have my picture taken with various people. They were soooo excited that a foreigner was taking interest in what they were doing. Hundreds of people, men and women, young and old, wake up early when the tide is low and scoop up as many baby clams as humanly possible.
|early morning clamming|
The actual act of clamming is quite comical and of all hard labor, extremely low paying jobs, I might choose this one to do every morning. For one, you only can work when the tide is low. Two, you just carry this giant net and walk around in circles and then dump out everything you catch into a giant bag.
Here is the final product:
|bag o' clams|
Yes, don't worry. I was confused too when I saw this as well. But apparently there are many delicious baby clams in there as well as millions of clam eggs that people can put in their "clam farms". Towards the end of the work, many of the clam property owners brought breakfast to their workers. This is nice in theory. Except for the minor fact that they bring the breakfast in individual styrofoam containers and bags of sauce that people eat and literally just throw in the ocean. So all of the sudden I find myself surrounded by hundreds of disgusting used styrofoam containers. And the workers just walk right through the garbage continuing to clam! It is pretty unbelievable how the concept of "littering" isn't even in their vocabulary considering their life depends on the ecosystem they are currently standing in. The CBD took careful note and is looking to implement educational outreach program regarding this.
|breakfast time over apparently|
So, it was time to call it a day at the clamming farm. As we walked along the beach though, we saw a gaggle of young boys enjoying a swim. Needless to say, bathing suits are not the common vestment of choice.
|having the time of his life|