Monday, November 23, 2009

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that we had a superior teacher day buffet dinner at The Majestic Hotel - the oldest hotel in Saigon. Jessica also experienced a White Lotus spa day, is getting quite proficient at Bum Bum hair washes, ate rice cakes and did the Ben Thanh market - all of this before she decided to get sick, and this just a few hours after she took a bad spill right on her tail bone and scraped up her arm in the backpacker district (this is the bad news). After the spill she said, "I think I will go back and lay down in my balcony room where it's safe."

And later, after she got sick in her safe balcony room, she said, "It's kind of interesting to get to know how the medical system works in Vietnam."

Something else she said (that really bothered me) was, "Maybe it was the rice cakes that made me sick."

I didn't say this to her, but I will say it to you: "Impossible!"

So, ever the optimist, Jessica - despite many mishaps and a sickness that lasted more than 24 hours - has maintained a good attitude. Right now she is on the bus to Mui Ne to rack up some beach time while I work. She is on the bus with the most nasty of nasty Saigon kisses, an arm scrape, and a mere, "I'm feeling well enough to go on a five-hour bus ride" perspective.

While Jessica did her sick thing on Sunday morning, I went shopping with Thanh for ingredients to cook Indian chicken curry. Every single time I go to the market, I get some kind of surprise; on this morning, I learned that Indian spices are sold together in little packets at a few of the vegetable stands. One spice packet includes cumin, curry powder and bay leaves, another includes a mixture of curry oils.

In this picture, Thanh is mixing up chunks of chicken (hacked with a cleaver just minutes after the poor chicken was killed) with the oils and spices. While the chicken browned in oil, she poured boiling water over the shaved coconut meat and then squeezed it out to make fresh coconut milk. The curry was fantastic. Everything these girls make is fantastic.

The highlight for Jessica, though, was the entertainment that Monkey Boy provided. He is getting awfully cute and warm in his old (5 years old) age. While we cooked, she, Tu and he played computer games on the Disney Website. (Her highlight was not going to Family Medical to drink terrible electrolite formula to replace all of the nutrients she lost the night before.)

Everyone, please send Jessica the most positive of beach vibes. She could use them!


Brian Bowker said...

Are the spices in separate packets, or are they pre mixed together, in sort of a one-size-fits-all Indian food tool kit?

Sending good beach vibes now.

Angie said...

I think Jessica is wrong. The culpret is not the rice cakes. I can't wait to try them!

Good beach vibes to Jessica! we'll be there soon!

Marjie said...

Brian, the spices come in tool kit form. No measurement necessary!

Mungostinople said...

Monkey Boy Rules.