Quick Lunch Visit to Vietnam, SUNDAY, 18 May 2008
If you need to get some fresh herbs and cooking ingredients for making Asian dinners at home, or you fancy some kitsch stuff to scatter around your house, then I suggest you bring along your shopping bag and come with us for a quick trip to Vietnam on Sunday, 18 May 2008. Don't worry - you won't need your passport and the travel there won't cost much at all. The trip starts at 11:00 in the morning and I promise to bring you all back by 15:00 the same day. All you do need to bring along are a few U-Bahn tickets, a healthy appetite, not a lot of money and a sense of insane fun.
So this is going to be a half-day sojourn into unknown territory for many Berliners, let alone us English-speakers. Like I said, we will visit a little piece of Vietnam on the day, but we don't have far to go as this place is actually hidden away somewhere in the depths of East Berlin. This journey will be particularly interesting for bargain hunters or for those people that just NEED another crystal hologram of the Brandenberg Gate or more Asian handicrafts to clutter their homes. For myself, I come here to get the best freshest herbs and ingredients for my cooking which I cannot find in other Asian shops in Berlin. Or anywhere else in Europe, for that matter.
The plan is to have an early lunch here as well, which is where a sense of insane fun would come in pretty handy. The menus are all pretty much in Vietnamese and believe me, the little German on the menus won't be of much good to you. So you probably have no real idea what you will be getting for lunch, as they don't speak German or English either! What is more, there are several restaurants scattered about here, so my idea is to split everyone up (if the group is too big) and each group goes into whichever restaurant catches their fancy and then we meet up afterwards to compare notes and shopping. I have eaten here a few times and my meals never costed more than 12-15 Euros for quite unusual and tasty food (though I still don't know what I ate). My simple and cunning plan for lunch on the day is to point to another table having a good lunch and gesture that we want the same!
Oh, there is one other requirement for this event, and that is punctuality. We have to meet outside an S-Bahn station, probably Nordbahnhof and catch a tram from there. At 11:15AM. On the dot. So if you can't make this meeting time for sure, then please consider carefully whether you need to visit Vietnam that badly. If you are interested in coming along, then, as usual, do drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date is 30th April 2008. I don't think we need to restrict the numbers coming along this time as my plan is to spread everyone around Vietnam and only meet up before we have to leave, so feel free to sign yourself and your friends up!
See you soon!
How it went on the day...
This has to be the highest absentee rate for any dinner club event ever as more than half the people who confirmed a place did not show up for whatever reason. But things for our little remaining group worked out really very well in the end, and not only did we do the Vietnamese market, and had a nice (and cheap) lunch there, we then also went on to visit a cool park with little bits of Bali, Korea, Japan, China, the UK and Arabia! And all in Berlin! The best news is that I have finally found a nice Vietnamese restaurant in this market that actually speaks some German so we now know how and what to order when we go back again. But if you want to know where it is, you will have to ask me very, very nicely. :o)
For those who missed it, here are the pictures!