As usual, I write on a clear sunny day, smile on my face, for today, a line of local Vietnamese ladies have set up in a line with big lastic bowls, displaying their catch of large shrimp, squid, and other seafoods. They will sell all their goods by noon and be on their way.
Kitty corner to my house is a small restaurant typical fot the local Vietnamese people The structure is made in a day using small trees and bushes from the surrounding landscape, and then being covered by nylon tarps. On the right you can saa a gal in a hat. Her business is to make coffee for the local residents. The booth on the left is where you can have an egg breakfast with a loaf of french bread, or a very tastyVietnamese submarine sandwich. Everything is custom made and they will creadt a meal any way you want it with the ingredients on hand. I do not yet have photo’s of the meals as I am forgetful, however, it is perhaps enough to say that Banh Mi op la is two fried eggs sunny up, usually a little runny but not too much so. Included is a loaf of French bread made Vietnamese style, and probably the best baked bread you will ever have. Top the egg with a little hot sauce and soya sauce… mmmmm You can also make an egg sandwich by getting scrambled, adding some sausage and stuffing the loaf….. double mmmmmm… For lunch a Vietnamese sub goes down very well. Again, just point to what you want.. meat, veggies, pate, chilis, shredded banana, jerky, eggs, whatever you want. She will add a little fish sauce and soya. A great, quick lunch. Oh, and the price for this?? about .60-.80 cents US.
In Vietnam, coffee is normally a very strong drip like espresso. It is either poured over ice and drank black, or mixed with a sweetened cream, stirred, then poured over ice. The resulting drink tastes exactly like iced cappuccino. I wonder if here is where the big chains got the idea? Unfortunately, I cannot drink the iced coffee in her shop because the ice is made with the local water. I am bound to get Montezuma’s revenge if I do, soooooo….I taught the coffee gal a new way to make coffee and she was delighted. Just add hot water to extremely strong coffee and tada!! western style coffee. In the morning she can see me leave the house, and has a large cup ready for me by the time I arrive. The coffee gal is a real looker. I was surprised to find she is not much younger than me.
The first day I came to sit with the locals, they seemed a bit wary, but I found out today from my wife translating that they are thrilled that I join them. They have always believed that westerners were too stuck up to join them, and looked upon them as a lower class. They now know this is not true. I am happy to see the small changes I cause in people when I interact with them.
I might be doing a road trip tomorrow, so I may not have time until day after tomorrow to continue the adventure.
Talk to you soon.