Monday, 27 October 2014

Further impressions of Vietnam: Five firsts


Today was a day of firsts.

Or, if you're a romantic Vietnamese plastic bag, firts.

First pho. Pho is the number one food in Vietnam, noodle soup. No, doesn't sound like the most exciting culinary experience, but it was very nice! My new friend T (also a new teacher with my company, very friendly and chatty from Bournemouth) and I went to this fast-food-typey place which did all your typical Vietnamese food too – the deal we had was Beef pho & Iced Black coffee for 55 thousand dongs (about one and a half quid, or two euros).

Twas scrumptious!
You put the basil in the soup, squeeze lime into it, add jalopenos if you're into that kind of thing (I wasn't) and add some random brown sauce and Hot Chili Sauce. And you eat it with a spoon and chopsticks. T helpfully asked one of the waiter dudes to get me a fork after me ten minutes of trying to master chopsticks and failing. But in all fairness, I clearly improved from getting zero strands of noodles to about two strands, so after a few weeks of practise hopefully I will have that skill perfected!

Iced coffee is also a Vietnamese thing – and despite sounding rather disgusting, Iced Black Coffee was ready-sugared and basically tasted like an iced milky coffee, without the milk, which you may have gathered. ;) So, surprisingly nice!

First price-haggling. And no Mumsie, I am not being a picky stingy rude tourist. It's the done thing at Vietnamese markets, according to every (internet) guidebook and human being I have talked to.

We went to a market – I think we thought it was famous Ben Thanh market but it may not have been. Overwhelming crazy amounts of dresses, earrings, dried fruit, scarves, coffee beans, dodgy foods etc etc with every stall-holder desperate to get you to look at their goodies.
Hmm this pic does not give it justice though to be fair sorry! 
After T skillfully got the price of a pair of sunglasses from 150,000 dongs (£4.37/5.55 euros according to currency converter) to 60k (£1.75/2.22euros), I felt more confident to do it as well. I needed a pair of work shoes, so was happy when we found a shoe stall. Weirdly, this stall seemed to be the only one where the shop-owners didn't even smile at you. Come on, I'm here to buy, be honoured! Found out the reason quickly – when I expressed interest in a shoe, they looked at my feet and just said “too big”. To be fair I was nearly a bit offended – my shoe size is 5 (38), it is not big! I know Vietnamese are tiny, but 5 is not big!

Well, the next shoe stall owners were more keen, so I tried on a shoe. They immediately brought me a stool to sit on as well as T, took off my shoe and put their shoe on my foot, after having stretched it accordingly for my wide Western foot. I felt like a very grimy smelly-footed Cinderella.

Size 38 was too small for me, but they had a size 40 which was tight at the top bit but had lots of toe space. The shop lady told me the price: 650k (£18.95/24euros). Ha, no, I wouldn't pay that much for a well-fitting shoe in my own country! She lowered it to 600k. No, no, the shoe didn't really fit. She kept handing the calculator to T (note T, not me, their culture is still quite male-authority-centered!) asking him to suggest a price. I wasn't even sure I wanted the shoes, so I was very ambiguous and unsure.

Then the other girl, probably the one with more responsibility, said “200,000!” (£5.84/7.40euros) I tried to get it lower, but she seemed quite sad and, well, desperate. In the end I decided to go for it. I needed black shoes, here were black shoes, and the price lowered by a third.
She was so happy, and then I asked if I could take a picture of her stall, and she happily asked: “With me?” so here is the result :D

First Vietnamese Water Puppet Show. Sophia, our lovely very sweet hotel receptionist, took me, T and L (both English teachers, both coincidentally from Bournemouth, coincidentally the place I spent my last night in Europe in! (Oh and also, coincidentally, T was complaining how he had to transfer twice to get to Ho Chi Minh City, and his check-in queue in London on Saturday happened to be right next to the queue to the direct flight to Ho Chi Minh... the queue I happened to be in :D Flights were both even at 1.10pm!))
The stage
So anyways, she took us to see this famous water puppet show which has apparently gone all round the world and, according to its leaflet, “Not watching a performance of Water Puppetry means not visiting Viet Nam yet!”

45 minutes of short water puppetry performances, meaning the puppets were somehow manoeuvred underwater, ok maybe the picture explains more...
Buffalo flute act
Final dragon act
On both sides there were three musicians who played drums/flutes/etc and did the vocals for the performance, be it singing, funny (Vietnamese) dialogue or duck sounds. Very talented and cool! Our favourite scenes were the one where two puppet men competed who could catch for puppet fish, or when the puppet dragons did pretty shapes, or when the puppet phoenixes got a baby puppet phoenix!

A very fun cultural experience.

First Vietnamese pancake. After the Water Puppets, Sophia took us to this Bamboo – Vietnamese pancake place. I pulled the short straw when it turned out everyone liked seafood, so I picked around it since all the food we got was to share.

Sophia showed us how to eat the pancake – take a lettuce leaf and put a basil leaf on it, then put some pancake and fillings on it, then wrap it up like a wrap, dip in the dip we were given, and, voilà, enjoy. It was wonderful having a local with us teaching us all of this!
We also had gorgeously scrumptious spring rolls and these mini “pancakes” with some filling I don't want to know the details of (I don't think it was anything too bad, but defo shrimpy), but they were DELICIOUS. They had a coconutty flavour and were AMAZING.
Dessert was various tiny bowls of various funky sweet things like beans in a sticky sauce or banana in condensed milk. Yeah, not your typical Western idea of desserts, but they were fine. As in, I haven't fallen in love with them, but they were sweet and interesting, so I ate. :D And literally each of us had about seven teaspoons of 'dessert' each. It's just not such a big thing here. After I finish my stash of Welshcakes (one left!) I hope to be able to easily lose a bit of weight here. :D

First Vietnamese taxi-ride. Intriguing.

A very fun day, and very happy I got to get to know people, both expats and locals!

Lots of love


Traffic picture of the day. Notice lady with wheely food stall amongst the crowd.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Impressions of Vietnam: First five hours

26.10.2014 klo NOON

So, I have been just under five hours in Ho Chi Minh City. In Vietnam. In Asia. !!!!!! And I feel I could write ten blog posts. I am sat in the lobby of my hotel, I'm allowed to check in in 45 minutes. My original plan had been to, after arriving in Vietnam at 7.25am, head off to the hotel (provided for me by my language school) for a good morning-nap (obviously not TOO long since I need to get a Vietnamese sleeping rhythm... but long enough to keep me alive for the rest of the day.) But, alas, no.
Got meself some dongs before the flight though
My goodbye-wavers <3
After a sleepless flight including three films (somehow films just all seem so mediocre when watched off a crackly aeroplane screen with only one earphone working... but I would recommend Divergent, and Pompeii was okay too (Jon Snow <3), The Other Woman was a bit of a disappointment). Then got to HCM airport, sorted visa and bags (about an hour, not bad going), and got the exciting experience of having my name on one of those pieces of paper that unknown people who are meeting you hold up at arrivals. Me and my charming silent little Vietnamese chauffeur drove through the town, probably about twenty minutes, to my hotel where I will be staying at least three nights now.
Plane food was scrumptious as always apart from sneaky bit of jalopeno there... :SSSSSSSS
After that, I wandered the streets for a few hours but at some point did get too claustrophobic and decided to escape back to the hotel. It is very DIFFERENT here and since I don't know how to act, and I'm constantly paranoid over my belongings and if it is EXPECTED of me to be polite and/or chatty to the salesmen, or do they find a polite 'no' as RUDE, or MOTIVATIONAL, or WHAT, that it does get a bit tiring. So now in the hotel with the good old fan blasting nice cold air. I am going to spend a fortune on water here by the way, despite it being very cheap... I am constantly thirsty. 
But let's try and keep this to the FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF VIETNAM during the first five hours. SO:

  • Motorbikes. Obviously I had expectations of the streets flooded with them. In actual fact maybe they were actually a bit more well-behaved than I expected. Saying that, though, I witnessed so many near shaves that I'm not quite sure if it could be worse than reality. Everyone rides a motorbike/scooter, including                                                                                                                                                                                                                         - people of all ages from miniscule baby (not alone though) to grandpa                                                                                                                                                                                             - you can have up to four people on one scooter/motorbike (so far), be it all adults, or families including toddlers, who are usually sandwiched in between adults or joyfully hanging at the front                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 - alternately you can be heavily pregnant and ride like half-saddle (what is it called? For ladies with skirts, when you have both legs over one side of the bike) extremely precariously on the back of your boyfriend's bike                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - and you don't need to be a human being to ride a motorbike. Stacks and stacks of eggs, stacks and stacks of juices, or random thingies like this...     
    What is it?
    Also note sandwiched child on bike behind the load 
    - and don't worry not if you are not on motorbike, the same lanes are valid for          
                           - bicycles
                           - cars
                           - vans
                           - portable food stalls with wheels
                           - wheelchairs 

(I am not kidding, amongst the bikes, albeit more to the side, a man pushing another man in a wheelchair)

  • Road-crossing is exciting. I have survived so far. Here we can put Conor's famous quote about road-crossing: “When in doubt, don't hesitate!” Walk over the road confidently, trust the bikers will dodge you, they are very used to it!
  • Eager 'motorbike-taxi-drivers'. This one is a difficult one for me. I have been brought up not to get on a motorbike (well any vehicle) with a random stranger. And indeed, if you are approached by someone dodgy in, say, France, beware of his dodginess. But here...? Motorbiketaxis are the way to go, I did find out doing my pre-trip research. It's normal here, in the same way as flagging cars down off the road as taxis in Russia. But I am nowhere ready to say to an eager Vietnamese motorbikist “sure take me wherever and we can fix the price at some point”. My main eager motorbikist showed me a notebook full of good reviews on him written by various tourists. Very sweet and cool, but also I remember reading scams about cases like this. On the other hand, I don't think it's a very high risk of getting physically hurt here by scammy motorbikists, just getting your money stolen. But still, I'm gonna do more research before venturing out on motorbikes. Maybe I'll make a friend first.                               
  • Paying an excorberant (how is that spelt?) price for a silly souvenir fan. Okay, 80,000 dongs is only about four dollars, so I like to think that I was just helping out a poor lady. She was cheerful and kept on saying “lucky!!”. Bless her.                           
  • Drinking three milk-based drinks in an hour. Strawberry-milk from shop, coconut 'juice' from café (SO EXOTIC), and amazingly refreshing mango-banana-passion fruit smoothie. OM NOM NOM NOM NOM. 
    A first!!! 
  • Taught English. I have taught English. True story. Random story. I sat down with my amazingly refreshing mango-banana-passion smoothie and soon this teenage Vietnamese guy came to talk to me. I would've been a whole lot more apprehensive but he also brought his incredibly sweet and innocent-looking small female friend (like, probably the same age as him but she was very petite and very, well, not-threatening). He was asking me many questions like where am I from, am I married (which very much weirded me out, though now I recollect clearly from all my Vietnam-web pages that it is normal for the Vietnamese to ask very personal questions as nearly a way of introduction). Then the chat proceeded to him looking up English words in his English-Vietnamese dictionary on his smart phone and asking me to explain them to him. So I did my best to explain words like 'engraved', 'concentrated', 'diffuse', 'divided', 'psychological', 'formed' to him.                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was quite weird to begin with, but then I started realising that maybe there is no hidden motive – this is as guidebooks and everything said, Vietnamese really want to learn English. So, easiest (and cheapest!) way to learn it – walk up to a foreign touristy-looking person and strike up a conversation! His friend spoke no English but sat patiently and silently for the half hour we were talking, and I started feeling a bit sorry for her, but no, she was completely happy, and clearly got her part of the deal done when, when I said that I should get going, the guy asked me if he could take a picture of me and the girl (for her), so we happily posed with the very Asian peace-sign and I felt very integrated into the country. :')
The smoothie 
Now I got into my hotel room :) So maybe it's time for shower and nap – have been in these same clothes and without sleep for nearly 24h now... I'm actually a bit scared to go to sleep. And wake up, actually alive and not ridiculously sleep-deprived, and still be in this surreal dream... Exciting, very exciting dream, but more than slightly overwhelming!

Now, do I trust the water in the minibar to be a reasonable price or not...


Saturday, 18 October 2014

TEFL in Vietnam: The Pre-Thoughts


First things first: This is the 50th blog post of nectarinetravels! Do have a celebratory drink/biscuit/stuffing sandwich in honour of it. :)

Second things second: In one week I will be moving to Vietnam.This next section of my travel blog will therefore handily be about Asia-travels. :D

To be me in a few weeks 
Graduating from university + not wanting to “grow up”/”start life” + wanting to TRAVEL when I can = I did a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign language) course (20h classroom course in Reading (love you Reading!) + 120h online), finished it mid-September, and secured a job in Vietnam a few weeks back. It's incredibly surreal and I am purposefully keeping busy and not thinking TOO much about it since it is quite scary. But SO EXCITING.
I had two skype interviews, the first one was the one I finally chose – a very efficient-seeming thorough language school with an impressive benefits package meaning I don't need to whittle away brain cells trying to understand things like visa applications or health insurance. AND they seem to be well-known and reputable enough for it to be unlikely for them to be ripping me off too much. It's in a little town called Bien Hoa about 30km outside Ho Chi Minh City, 'Saigon'.
HCMC traffic 
So, why Vietnam you ask?

Good question.

  • Because it's in South-East Asia. My current craving to see the world definitely includes visiting a completely new corner of the world. (Not that hard to find, my world-travelling is limited to Europe and that one trip to NZ) I've visited the Western world, now it's time for... the Eastern world?
  • It's not Thailand. Not saying I have anything against Thailand, it was actually my number 1 country of interest for a while, till I started getting bored of it. Thailand is such a cliché in Finland (where I am atm), if you're Finnish and you speak nothing but Finnish and you're a drunk and a tourist and want a Thai wife, you go to Thailand. Such a stereotype. So it's purely my desire to sound less like a clichéy Finn who cannot think of any other interesting countries apart from Thailand. I am exaggerating of course. Can't wait to visit Thailand too whilst over there.
    Who cannot love Thailand? 
  • It's a suitably popular yet not too popular a TEFL-country. It's the same when it comes to tourism. There is an increasing amount of travel articles online and in my mummy's ladies' magazines about the exotic country of Vietnam, often overlooked whilst planning travels, but gaining more and more popularity. Same with its popularity as a country to do TEFL in.
  • Its currency is the 'dong'. And you count them by millions.

  • It used to be a French colony. As most should sadly know. I'm not officially using the French I studied for my degree in my teaching, but since Vietnam used to be a French colony, there is still a number of people who speak it as their second language. Well, more than some other South-East Asian countries.

What to expect? Well, I think I will be teaching kids, so under 11-year-olds. Which is quite fun since I realised again last week how much I LOVE kids. (Though, I have worked enough with kids knowing that that love can disappear as quickly as it comes...) The school are providing me with induction & training & everything so not too nervous about the teaching itself. Yet. 

I also expect to conquer my irrational fear of creepy-crawlies. (Or not.) “Large tropical insects may be numerous,” promised one description for a job in Ho Chi Minh City. Luckily I have no problems with exciting flying giant beetles and ESPECIALLY not humongous spiders... tarantulas are basically like gerbils with a few extra legs, right, right, right? Wait, not gerbils. GUINEA PIGS. Or maybe even baby pigs. How big are baby pigs? Coz when I made the mistake of googling “largest spider in Vietnam” it came up with a fascinating description of the “world's largest spider” being discovered there with the leg span of a plate. Ah. <3

(Just to make sure, note sarcasm.) (***SHUDDDDEERRRRRR***)

(Since I don't wish to deter my friend James I will not post a photo of said spider. Unless I meet one live. Then it's a must.)

I was a bit apprehensive about the location, Bien Hoa. I tried googling it numerous times and the main news article that came up was about some deadly toxins being found in the military airbase there or something like that. If you google image it all you can find is picture of the military airbase there. Well, planes are cool...
Some of the few Bien Hoa images on google
Now I know a bit more from being in touch with some of the teachers there. I expect it to be small, and.... well, I honestly don't know. It's not necessarily small, just nothing compared to the neighbouring Ho Chi Minh. But I knew from the start that I'd rather at least start off somewhere which is not the largest metropolis in this vastly-populated country, where apparently crossing the road is an exciting near-death experience every day. And Bien Hoa has often been described as 'authentic'. And that is exactly what I want. I am here to get to know a new culture. (And if I do decide I don't like it, my highly efficient language school provides a relocation allowance to transfer to another location after six months.)
At least they have colourful lorries!
And a new language, hopefully. I have been watching Vietnam-learning videos on the beloved youtube. Did you know that in Vietnamese 'thank you' is said 'come on'? Well, okay, if you say “come on” to a Vietnamese when they hand you a portion of pho they will probably find you highly amusing, but at least I remember the gist of how you say it when I think of it like that! Oh and numbers: 'two' is 'hi!' (as opposed to 'hello!' and the intonation is really high too), 'three' is 'baa' like the sheep, and 'five' is a very highly-intonated 'nam' like when you have that FIRST BITE OF CHOCOLATE-BAILEYS-MASCARPONE CHEESE-CAKE MY FRIENDS MADE ME AS A GOODBYE-GESTURE OM NOM NOM NOM NOM........

Heavenly. Thank you H & H-le  <3 <3
ANYWAYS, the Vietnamese language will not be TOO small a challenge... luckily, according to some website, there are only five different levels of intonation in the south (where I'm going), the north has six. :P
I also expect to feel slightly more grown up. At the school at least. The dress code is very strict. Vietnamese students consider their teachers as the “complete source of all knowledge” according to someone somewhere online. Complete sources of all knowledge are not allowed to wear skirts shorter than knee-length, and the shirts must not reveal midriff, cleavage or shoulders and it must be 'smart'. Ok, who can classify smart for me?
Ho Chi Minh City
Vaccinationwise, I've had my first Japanese B Ency-jab, my first Hepatitis A&B jab, my sailor disease jab tablets consumed, malaria tablets in my half-packed suitcase. Next jabs will be done in Ho Chi Minh City. That will be interesting. 

I don't know properly know anyone in Ho Chi Minh, but luckily I have a few random contacts - a friend of a friend, a few contacts from my newly-discovered website, as well as, randomly, a girl from Ho Chi Minh who happened to be working at this AMAZING frozen yogurt café in Helsinki. (They do waffle and bagel brunches and is very highly recommended. <3) (Anyone else have any contacts in Vietnam? Lemme know :) 

Some cheeky advertising... Runeberginkatu 54 A <3


I'm still waiting for this to sink in. Loyal long-term fans will remember my ecstaticness on my Dubai-Brisbane flight. MY FIRST TIME OUTSIDE OF EUROPE. However, this time, in a way, I don't want to think about it too much because it will scare me. I am so excited, first time properly in the vast, crazily-populated continent of ASIA, but at the same time, it's new for me, brand-new language, culture and job, and I'll be leaving my family and friends for a whole year... (though, it's not THAT bad, have got quite a few promises of visitors already :) YOU ARE ALL MORE THAN WELCOME TO COME VISIT ME MY MUNCHKINS <3 

I fly on the 25th of this month. A twelve-hour direct flight. Arriving at 7am on the 26th. Given my (non)abilities of sleeping on planes, it will be intriguing to see how much of that first very long day I will get through awake...

As always, comments/opinions/thoughts/tips/feedback/criticism/completely pointless remarks are MORE THAN WELCOME. :) 

Tam biêt!

PS. As some further reading, some recent news on South-East Asia...

PPS. Whilst googling images for this post, I accidentally strayed onto a dodgy Vietnamese-foods blog... And made the following decision: I am learning what 'dog' is in Vietnamese before I arrive. Just to know what to say 'no' to......... Suddenly large spiders don't seem that bad after all.

PPPS. On third thoughts, I'm going vegetarian.
Or sugarian 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

France vs. UK: Foody edition!

Bonsoir tout le monde!

France and Britain, two of my favourite countries ever. Neighbouring countries yet so very different, so one day I decided to compile a list of their differences. But where to start? Let's say, the best thing in life, the most photographed thing in life, ie., FOOD. (&drink)

Some examples to start off with before The List...
Croque Madame & Burger @ Au Bureau, Douai, France
Sunday Roast @ Chester's @ Aberystwyth, Britain
French cakes @ Lyon
British cakes @ London 
  There are a huge amount of clichés to do with the 'slight' cultural differences between the two countries concerning stuff like cheese, wine, snails, bread, croissants, etc., but I have tried to make the list a bit more different, about what first came to mind for me personally.
Snails. Yes both CC and I sampled them. A bit chewy. 
So, let's start with...



Coffees are always served with milk. My favourite British coffeey specialty (though I admit I have only come across it made by Grandma or an adorable tiny café in an adorable tiny town in Wales) is MILKY COFFEE.

Welsh milky coffee @ Conti's, Lampeter on a cold autumnal day <3

And if you want an espresso, you ask for an espresso. Though no one drinks espressos in the UK. Apart from my Hungarian friend Andy. Who drinks quadruple espressos (which he orders with “can I have a double espresso... and then another double espresso, in the same cup?”)


Despite having lived in France for two years, I still frequently forget that 'un café' is not a mug or a decent-sized cup of the said liquid, but a tiny espresso. Tiny, quaint, tiny, pretty, tiny, often accompanied with a fancy-papered sugar, Speculoos-biscuit or, if you're lucky, a little chocolate. But it's tiny. And strong. And did I mention tiny.

Un café s'il vous plait monsieur @ Douai
During one morning coffee-moment, my friend Nicola and I resorted to buying cappuccinos in addition to our cafés. Now that looks more like it...

Now this satisfied our British coffee cravings! 
Or, at the other side of the spectrum, France basically does coffee in everything apart from mugs. They do bowls of coffee, for example.

Trust me, it was actually a nice breakfast
And even glasses. When working at a school in France, I usually had a bowl of coffee for breakfast and a glass of coffee after lunch at the school canteen. In all fairness, we did come to the conclusion with the fellow assistants that the coffee was not MEANT to be drunk from glasses, but instead from the miniscule cups next to the glasses. But even many of the French teachers thought better not to touch these tiny ornate dishes and drink their black, sugarless coffee from glasses.



Ah, tea. The liquid gold, elixir of life that must run through the veins of every true Brit. I will not get into the debate about what kind of tea is the most perfect, though most Brits will agree with me that it must have milk (apart from my friend Hayzybobzykins... but she is special in many ways), and a decent amount will agree that it should have sugar.

Home-stirred tea with a dashing of milk and one sugar. Mug courtesy of Grandma. 


French have tea. In some places. Most places nowadays I guess due to all this mondialisation. But if you want milk with your tea, don't have your hopes too high up. If you're lucky you may get a tiny blobule of condensed milk. But don't dispair yet, since it could be worse: In Holland our condensed milky tea tasted of pizza. Hannah laughed at me for describing it like that, then tasted it herself and, to her complete surprise, she agreed. It tasted like oregon or origami or whatever the spice is you put on pizza. (So I had to google it. Oregano. Sorry lol.)



If the topic were vinegar, you could do pretty well in the UK buying a 75 cl bottle of vinegar from the local CK's for £3.99. Except that confusingly the label claims to be wine, not vinegar. 

For a tenner maybe you can get a relatively decent bottle (not that my financial situation has ever let me explore those posher paths).

Whereas in France...

Honestly, the bottles that cost less than a euro fifty may not be suited for the taste buds of the most pedantic wine connoisseurs, but if you go for anything above a few euros, the wine is pretty decent.


This bottle of wine in France:                   Bottle of wine in Britain:
2.39euros                                                        £9.99
****                                                                     **

And since we're on the wine topic...

A DAILY JUG OF WINE AT LUNCH AT WORK (at least if you are working at a school)

France: = the norm

Britain: = serious alcohol problem

(Well, if one wants to believe Gerard Depardieu, you can have the same example with 14 bottles of wine a day...)

My wine recommendation number 1: Probably quite pricey since it was a gift...

My wine recommendation number 2, and very affordable, thank you Nicola! 


This one is simple.

A croissant from a multipack from a local supermarket:

France: ****½                              Britain: ½
:9                                                    :S


Britain: Tea (Brits are so obsessed with tea there is even a meal named after it...)

My lovely 21st birthday tea à la Grandma 

France: Raclette (melted cheesy goodness) 

chez Bernard @ Douai


Britain: = er... raw meat

France: = gourmet steak tartare

à la Mr Bean...

The first time I had raw meat was my first day with my French au pair family when I came to lunch after a bout of homesickness (crying on the phone to my mumsie in my bathroom). The raw meat did not improve my teary anti-France sentiments. Since then I have come to understand that it can be nice-tasting... but still too weird for me.


So refreshing, so tropical. Ah.
No wait, wrong Oasis

The French Oasis is my absolute favourite non-milky drink ever.
Père la fraise <3
And extra points for the adorable fruits in their ads and their PUNS yes the French do puns as well! Their slogan is “Be fruit”, 'fruit' in French is pronounced very close to the 'free' in English... Yes, amazing. :'''))

Drinkwise, unfortunately Britain tries to trick you with its less delicious version.

French Oasis: *****                            British Oasis: **½

(Though this one is by far personal opinion, I admit.)
(Wonderwall is pretty good though.)


Britain: Chicken&stuffing sandwich. Scrumptious. Btw, if stuffing is especially scrumptious can you just say 'scruffing'?

France: Poulet rôti. Literally means roasted chicken. But can be understood as chicken baguette. So unbelieveably good considering its... plainness. You can never be bored of lunches in France if you have this. Though once or twice they have understood my 'poulet' as 'thon' (tuna). Luckily I'm not fussy. 

Tbf the best ones are even plainer than this...



Oreo cookie milkshake, Upper Limit Café @ Aberystwyth

It looks like someones ashes,” - Chris. I get your point, but still. SO GOOD. SO SO SO SO taste-bud smashingly gorgeously flavoured OREO COOKIE MILKSHAKE.


Speculoos Tiramisu @ Café Leffe, Lille 
Tiramisu is not French, true. But SPECULOOS TIRAMISU is. Ahhhhhh death in a cup if you are ready to die of amazingness!!!!!



Scones @ Ilfracombe
It took me a while to learn to accept their plainness, but scones are proof that plain on the outside does not mean plain on the inside... And when you get to know them, they stay with you forever... and ever... and ever.... till you die happily drowning in their goodness.


Nutella crepe @ Douai
Yes, yes, a cliché. But what creates a cliché? A truth.
Whatever the question, Nutella crepe is the answer.
Amen. Ah.

Et c'est tout. 

That's it. No, not really, but I have to stop somewhere. Thank you for joining me on this foody adventure :)

What would you add to the list? 

Bizzzz (the equivalent of xxxxxxxxxxx in French)

PS. And every single tiniest comment will make my day. :) 

The rough draft I did many months ago