One morning this summer, my teammates and I decided to walk down the street to the indoor market to purchase some fruits and vegetables. Usually we bought street food for meals, but after the twentieth bowl of Pho (beef noodle soup), we needed some variety.
For simple purchases like chopsticks and bowls we never had a problem communicating in broken Vietnamese and hand motions, but buying fresh produce turned out to be complicated.
After much hand-waving, we ended up with a sad bunch of bananas . . . which turned out to be plantains. We tried frying them, but they smelled so bad, that our sweet landlady ran up the stairs, scolding us in Vietnamese and threw them out.
The next morning, we were in the living room lesson planning when our landlady came in with a giant clump of bananas.