Rod McLaughlin


Last day in Dalat (10 apr 18)

There is a supermarket in Dalat called "Big C". It's underground, by the lake, underneath the big yellow plastic thing. The first time I went there, it was alright. The second time, the jobsworths wouldn't let me come in the wrong entrance, and they tied up the zip handles on my bag with plastic zipties so I couldn't shoplift. Like I'd shoplift in Vietnam. The third and final time, I gave my bag to the lady with the lockers, and this time, a jobsworth tried to tie up my little bum bag (fanny pack to you yanks) which I wear round my shoulder. I fair threw the ziptie back at him, threw down the shopping basket, and retreated in high dudgeon.

It's incredibly difficult to find the exit. For some reason, it says "Exit" all over the place, in English. Sometimes a sign has Exit on both sides. The place is a maze, full of brats and businesses playing loud music. I did get a wholemeal loaf from the little bakery outside the Big C though - the only place I've seen with it in Vietnam so far. Usually "bakery" means birthday cakes and such.

My best customer experience of the last two days was Xung Dim Sum, Thành phố Đà Lạt. It's the real thing. And unlike Ming's, it's cheap. I went there two days running. See picture of menu above. 

I had one more bad customer experience. Near Xung is a liquor store. I went in a couple of times, checking out $130 bottles of whiskey to buy for Bang as a present. The woman asked me "what do you want?" I came back, and this time, she and another old bag were blocking the tiny shop. I was standing there with my calculator, to translate 3,400,000 dong into dollars. They didn't get out of the way, so I again withdrew my custom. Eventually, I found a minisupermarket which sold Ballantines for more like $16, so I bought that and some chocolate for my host.

And two more good experiences. In the cellphone chain Thegioididong in both Buan Ma Thuot and Dalat, the staff have allowed me to print from a USB stick using their computers free.

I decided to leave tomorrow, partly because I'm getting out of shape doing nothing but eating, drinking and sitting at a computer, and also because all of Bang's staff might think I'm in the way, but can't do anything about it because Bang is their boss.




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