Will Frith
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» As it Cools

A blog about the emerging specialty coffee industry in Vietnam, as well as the growing third-wave coffee culture in Saigon

Dalat: Warm Welcomes, Motorbike Spill

WARNING: This post is not for the squeamish! We've made the move over to Dalat, where we plan to spend the next 6 months connecting and learning, hoping to establish long-lasting relationships that keep us coming back.

Outdoor hallway to our rooms.

Outdoor living room, overlooking the courtyard

The house and city has been more than good to us, providing a warm mountain culture atmosphere, beautiful views, a comfy and quiet place to sleep and plenty of fresh, local produce to enjoy.

A neighborhood just outside the city center.

Beauty doesn't come without a cost, and I experienced that cost directly. With Kelly seated behind me on a motorbike, we were heading downtown to run some errands when I hit a patch of loose dirt on the road just as I was applying the brakes to avoid a collision. The brakes locked and the bike slipped onto its side, causing us to slide about 10 meters on asphalt. Luckily, we weren't moving very fast so there were no serious injuries, with Kelly and the bike getting away with minor bumps, scrapes and bruises. I took the brunt of the fall, scraping quite a bit of my right hand, arm and knee (with the weight of the bike and ourselves on my right leg).

The town was well-represented by the extremely helpful bystanders who immediately helped us to the sidewalk with our bike and began to apply first aid. One lady was nice enough to take Kelly to a nearby pharmacy to procure some gauze, tape and antiseptic. They saw me onto a motorbike taxi who took me home while Kelly was determined to go on to finish our errands (champion partner!).

Day 1 - convalescing in the open-air living room

Kyle was really concerned about my wounds and insisted that I at least go to a clinic to have them cleaned up. Good advice. The English-speaking nurse, Hien, who tended my injuries was genuinely concerned, made sure I understood everything and was comfortable. $40 and two hours later, I had X-rays, an ultrasound, prescription and clean, dressed wounds.

Looks worse than it feels, healing just fine

The last couple of days, I've been convalescing and taking it easy - studying Vietnamese, playing guitar and drinking the last of my Pablo Zuniga (Colombia, San Sebastian Microlot from Olympia Coffee).

Today, I pan-roasted some La Golondrina Peaberry (Bolivia) from my green samples stash (thanks, Oliver!) to add some fresh-roasted coffee to our lineup. We'll see how it tastes tomorrow, but the roast looks pretty good. My first pan roast in a few years, definitely not the last!

Mighty fine-looking - we'll see how it tastes tomorrow!