Covid-19 and me part VII

The Vietnam government has just extended the social distancing order for Khanh Hoa province for another week, and maybe more.

Which means that school’s still out , as it has been since February 2.

Now, the earliest that schools will return here in Nha Trang is April 22, and likely later.

My Vietnamese friend ‘Henry’ and I are a little puzzled as to why Khanh Hoa has been put in the ‘high risk’ basket. There’ve been no new cases here since the province was declared virus-free after our one case was cured on February 26.

There are noises from the peanut gallery about school re-opening here in May, but these are coming from chrystal-ball gazing. For now, no-one knows.

Flights leaving Vietnam are few and far between, and a recently-announced NZ Govt.-organised flight from HaNoi to NZ would be nigh impossible to get to. Travel restrictions.

My Visa here is paid until June 1, so for now at least, I’m staying put, and working online.

Cocoa heaven

She’s a hard road finding the perfect cocoa, but I think I’ve got as near as possible.

Thanks to the continuing generosity of ‘Henry’, my private student turned good friend, I’ve laid my chops on some dark-brown gold.

Henry grew up in the countryside, and his family farm produces real food, in its natural state. He tells me, during our regular morning coffee sessions, that this stuff is produced by first grinding the cocoa beans, and then achieving a solid state using centripetal force ( spinning it very fast ).

I got my first taste yesterday, and I find it difficult to avoid raving about it. It has that beautiful bitter taste of real cocoa, but it is also sweeter than any natural cocoa I’ve tasted.

At first I made hot drinks from small chunks. Then I decided to cut out the middle man, and just melt the stuff in my mouth.

The result is best described below.


It’s like eating chocolate, without the sugar – so good, it should be illegal.


I originally met Henry through sheer dumb luck. I posted a job-seeking ad ona Facebook forum, back when I first arrived in Nha Trang.

Henry replied. We started to meet for study at his favourite cafes, and it slowly became obvious that not only is among the finest of fellows, he’s a top-drawer foodie. Even more, he’s curious and very bright, which means he’s very easy to teach.

Moral of the story – when dumb luck comes your way, don’t question the whys and wherefores, just grab it with both hands.