On Thursday 3rd June Captain Caveman had gone to Phong Nha by bicycle and I had my phone on do not disturb until 8am, hoping for an extra bit of sleep. At 7.45am Veronika was knocking on the door to tell me we were getting picked up for the Phong Nha Farmstay shopping trip in 15 minutes and I’d missed calls from her and Bich. I rushed around to be ready and let Captain Caveman know I was going without him because we were having an earlier than usual trip. The shopping trip participants today consisted of me, Veronika, Bich, Ben, Michael, Howie and the Farmstay receptionist, Maya. By 9.40am we were stopping at our first shop, The Red supermarket, I bought just 3 items and was at the checkout first, followed by Mai, then Veronika. The organic shop was next where I grabbed radishes and green beans. At gone 10am we were at the VinMart and by 10.40am I had done all my shopping and had quite a few bags, I did notice that some usual items were out of stock though. We sat in the cool Aircon of the Vinpearl hotel foyer and waited for Ben to finish a meeting while his eldest son walked around reception in a Trump supporter hat. I had an expensive Pepsi at 50,000vnd (£1.55) while we waited and then it was time for lunch at Geminai. I wasn’t very lucky today and although I ordered first and went for a tofu in plum sauce, I was told a while after they had no tofu so I asked for beef fried rice instead. At 12.20 I was still waiting and most people had almost eaten their food, there was also a kitchen next to where we were eating and they were burning some oil and chillies which made me, Veronika and Mai cough and our eyes water. While I was eating my food, which tasted nice but just had beef in, no vegetables, I started to get a bad stomach and was ill as soon as I had finished it. Mai mentioned she thought it could be that they had fried the rice in butter and I’d never thought of that – she could be on to something there! 
On the journey home I read in the news that the UK/India mutant variant wasn’t a new variant as Vietnam had initially thought, it is just another version of the Indian variant, more here:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20210603/who-rules-out-new-hybrid-covid-variant-in-vietnam-nikkei/61305.html
Corona cases here were continuing to increase quite quickly in this latest 4th wave now and authorities were planning for a worst case scenario.
After I had put all the shopping away I had a couple of gin and pink grapefruits by the pool. We had chicken sandwiches for dinner and had an early night.

As usual I made a list of all my shopping items and their cost in VND. £1 is about 32,300vnd and I got a few bargains this week;

Red Supermarket
1 can of Ginger Ale 32,000
2 bottles of Grapefruit 110,000

An Nong Organic Shop
1 bag of green beans 32,500
1 box of radishes 38,250

VinMart Supermarket
1 chopped pumpkin 6,090
3 aubergines 6,605
1 baguette 9,000
1 bottle of chilli sauce 11,000
1 packet of rice macaroni 12,000
2 cans of diet Coke 19,000
1 dragon fruit 19,632
6 bananas 24,100
1 packet of rice noodles 26,000
10 eggs 27,700
1 packet of mushrooms 35,500
2 cans of Strongbow dark fruits 37,000
1packet of salami 38,300
500g chicken breast fillets 47,900
1 box of toothpicks 52,900
2 packets of M&Ms 70,000

This week I spent just over 620,000vnd (£20) on the shopping and 250,000vnd (£7.75) on a drink and lunch! I didn’t get any of the expensive fruits or wine this week. What items do you cut out when you have a tight budget?

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