A steamy bowl of Pho

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I can see some tutoring in my future. Our new night man is going to university and is very eager to learn more English. As I write this, Mai is giving English lessons. The poor guy looks overwhelmed. His name is Lich and I really hope he works out. May is getting closer and closer and the thought of not being here to watch over things makes me a bit uneasy. As usual, I slept all the way from Saigon to NhaTrang waking up with a few of those really nasty and itchy mosquito bites. There were motorcycles and taxi’s waiting at the bus drop offs as usual, so I just jumped a cab and was back to the hotel in minutes.  It is sure nice to escape the heat of Saigon. Now I am standing in a warm but not sweat inducing summer breeze.

An old church

I am beginning to find it difficult to come up with topics. I knew and others told me that a daily blog would soon become hard to keep up with. Oh well… I will try to keep it up, but if I find I am becoming boring or repetitive, I might slow two 2 or 3 times a week.

Now a bit to add on to healthcare topic. I mentioned that ambulances were slowed by traffic, but since everything here moves at a constant 30 kph, you get there in plenty of time. Getting to you is the problem, that, plus the small number of vehicles used as ambulances. Never fear though. Today there was a very bad accident just down the road from me. A motorcycle collided with a cement retaining wall ant the person must have suffered some grave injuries. Within 30 seconds, not only was he surrounded by people

abandoned house in a hill

 who ran to help, but a taxi was already on the scene with doors open ready to receive him. I imagine that not much care was taken in the case of his neck being broken, however, he was loaded and moved to the hospital much faster than waiting for any emergency vehicle.

I have just learned that the first Subway will be opened in Vietnam in the next few weeks, to soon be followed by a Carl’s Jr. I have no idea how they are going to compete as I can get a very good Vietnamese sub almost anywhere for fifty cents.

Well shiver me timbers!! My receptionist came back from the government office today with the news that all of the increases I asked for the rooms have been approved. That does not mean that I am going to jack up prices, it does mean however, that I can charge seasonal rates and make up for when the hotel is slow.

Hey!! How about breakfast. Many of you know about Pho (pronounced Faw) but it may be new to others, Pho is actually not the name of the soup itself, but of the broth used. The most common is Pho Bo Tai which means raw beef soup. You will get a bowl filled with a flat rice noodle, chives, dried onion, and thinly sliced beef. A piping hot broth will be poured over the contents cooking the beef in seconds. Usually you will get a plate of bean sprouts, mint, sometimes shaved banana,

Pho... mm mm good

 and other veggies. Just grab what you like and add it to the broth. Perhaps squeeze a bit of lime if it to your taste. Use your chopsticks and your spoon to mix it all up and there you go…… But wait!! You will see on the table a container of red chili paste and a brown sauce called hoi sin. Add the two together in a small dish that you probably will be provided with and use it as a dipping sauce for your beef. Now smugly look around at all the Vietnamese watching amazed that you know how to eat like a native. Pho can be served in a variety of ways. The most common are with beef, chicken, or beef balls. When in an authentic Vietnamese

Class is in

restaurant make sure to pay attention to the type of Pho you are ordering. You can also get large chunks of skin and big chewy pieces of tendon. I know there are those out there who like that kind of thing, but just give me the meat please.

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Owee

Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

5 thoughts on “A steamy bowl of Pho

  1. Owen!

    Don’t slow down the entries, you’re doing so well!
    We are following your adventures with much interest.
    You may be seeing Britt soon, she is now in Thailand, and I am pretty sure that she is reading your blog as often as possible.
    Onward!

  2. Don’t give up! Even the best authors get writer’s block!
    Your nightman is going to university, how does the rest of the school system work? Grades, costs? How different is it from our school system?

    Another topic: Gratefullness – I (Owen) am so grateful for where I am. All my co-workers are back home reading my blog and envious of where I am! Not just for the weather but for all the hands-on free education Owen is receiving daily. An opportunity of a life time that very few get to enjoy. In addition to your beautiful wife and family who has expanded your experiences beyond belief.

  3. Topics I wonder about … do people keep pets? what spectator sports are people into (soccer? horse racing?) are smokers treated like lepers like they are in North America? what’s the state of the wildlife (eg are there parks, what species are endangered, etc)? is there racism (against who – blacks? whites? koreans?) I’m sure there’s lots to write about that isn’t always triggered by your own adventures so far 🙂

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