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Day 122 – In This Hand, Food

July 3, 2010

Dateline: Hanoi, Vietnam – Saturday, July 3, 2010

Today was a writing day. Pounding out entries left and right from my notes. First in my room in the morning. Then in a little café all afternoon. I had myself a cup of iced Vietnamese coffee (café da) but still was dozing at around 3 p.m. It was like I was back in the firm office, working on contracts or writing a memo. Guess I get tired mid-afternoon so long as I’m sitting at a computer.

I did have an awesome lunch, though. I stopped by Highway 4, a restaurant that’s supposed to have some good, cleaned up street food. Perfect way to ease myself back into Vietnam. I opted for something non-traditional and ordered some fried catfish spring rolls. They were fantastic. The spices, crunchy fish, and the kickin’ horseradish sauce in the rolls made for an awesome appetizer. The brown dipping sauce cut some of the burn, but not so much that it didn’t clear your nose. It was great. That alone warrants a second visit.

Next up was curry chicken steamed in banana leaf with a load of lemon grass. The banana leaf added a subtle fragrance. The chicken was a touch dry. That won’t stop me from coming back. The catfish was just that good.

I washed it all down with a jug (literally) of corn juice with a bit of sugarcane. Not sweet. Reminded me more of tea than anything else.

If it’s not clear, I’m happy to be back in Vietnam if for no other reason than I can wear slippers again. For the past month I’ve neglected my flip-flops in favor of closed toe footwear. Nearly everyone in China wears shoes no matter the weather. I suspect this is partially because of all the spitting. No matter the reason, I followed suit.

Here, my toes are free, back the way they belong. Over the last three decades I’ve embraced the fact that I’m happier not wearing socks. It follows then, that I’m quite content in Vietnam.

GALLERY: Nothing beyond the two pics above.

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