Posted in ex-pat confidential, saigon, baby

sometimes the story is better …

So, it was my husband's birthday yesterday, and I've been in a Saigon's-a-cool-place-to-be mindset, so I thought that the gifts that I'd found locally here were thoughtful and kind of awesome. Exhibit A: A print of the part of HCMC that his office is in from a funky gallery (Tara & Kys) he likes:

Exhibit B (not pictured) would be a lacquer tea box (similar to this), because Chris likes tea and has a variety of different varieties sitting out on our kitchen countertop. 

I am a little sad to report that neither of those lovely gifts excited him nearly as much as this did:

This is exactly what it looks like: a slice of a tree trunk with the bark removed. It's also a cutting board that is roughly sixteen inches across and three inches high, and it weighs so much that dropping it on one's foot might actually break bones. 

Chris bought it from the guy who drives around on his motorbike selling wooden cutting boards on the street. I guess that he was admiring a pair of the cutting boards, each from a different kind of tree, before finally selecting the one above (Exhibit C?) for the actual purchase. Apparently, he chose wisely, as he was later informed that he picked the one that he "can chop up a snake on and not get poisoned from the wood."  Which leaves me wondering why cutting boards are even made from toxic trees? Or was the snake the important thing to focus on in Chris's warning? Could we have chopped up a chicken on the other cutting board and been totally fine? 

This is just something that I didn't have to think about when I lived in Calgary. I'd just go to Ikea and buy a cutting board in the prettiest colour. Easy peasy, and no one gets sick and no snakes are harmed.



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