It happened because Michael and I were walking around a market in the far North of Vietnam, and had retreated into the dry goods section of the market in fear of seeing another dog head for sale. We found some interesting things in our place of retreat, mainly strange dried medicinal goods. There were bags of dried lizards (named only "medicine" when I asked) that I considered buying for a second but realized a) I didn't really have a use for them and b) that might prove a problem with immigration considering what else I was bringing into the country. I opted for this giant stick of cinnamon instead, which cost me all of a dollar and with which I may make a big vat of mulled wine or cider.
I photographed this with a regular cinnamon stick by its side so there's a sense of how massive this thing actually is!