Saturday, September 10, 2011

More from vietnam

After I finished my Vietnam posts I kept thinking of things I had forgotten or didn't quite fit into a post. Here are a few more things from Vietnam!

1. Vietnamese coffee is amazing! In some ways it's similar to espresso and Turkish coffee, but better! They start by putting sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of a glass and filling it with ice (I preferred mine cold). They then filled it about 2 inches or so high with thick strong hot coffee. This may seem strange, you did want it cold, yes? There's a ton of ice, which when it gets melted dilutes the coffee a bit. Next you stir, stir, stir! Sit back and enjoy in small side street cafe's that have preschool sized chairs and watch the traffic go by.
2. Speaking of traffic! Traffic in Vietnam is crazy! It's been crazy everywhere, but something about it in Vietnam was different. It's the honking, it's incessant and everywhere, for every thing. Honk! To your right. Honk! To your left. Honk! Coming up from behind. Honk! I'm not sure why he honked, but he threw a few beeeeeeps beeeeeppps out there just for the hell of it. I didn't notice it as much while in Vietnam, until I left. Then things just seemed kind of quiet...
3. Sweetened condensed milk is the greatest thing EVER! Because they put it in coffee that we were drinking copious amounts of we quickly became addicted to this sweet unctuous nectar. In Halong Bay Claire, Nickie, Lisa, and I decided to pop open a can to dip our mango in. Did I say dip? I meant more like drench the mango slices till it was dripping off. There may have been a few spoonfuls of the stuff as well. Then came the sugar coma afterward! What a nap that was!
4. One of my favorite meals in Vietnam was in Hanoi at this little hole-in-the-wall place. They didn't speak English and there were no menus. They served one dish and that was it. I have no idea what the name of it was, but it was mighty tasty. You are given a bowl to mix your desired quantities of ingredients in. Then the table is presented with heaping bowls of rice noddles, incredibly flavorful broth, greens and herbs, mountains of freshly chopped garlic and chili, and each person gets a bowl of grilled pork patties. Oh and a plateful of freshly fried spring rolls. It was so simple, so fresh, and did I mention oh so tasty?
5. Oi Troi Oi! This is Vietnamese means oh my Buddha/god. It's meant to be said dramatically with a bit of an exaggeration at the end. A very useful term when bargaining. I got one lady down from 300,000D to 200,000D simply by going Oi Troi Oi!!! 

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