Sunday, May 02, 2010

Ah - Back in the Hood

This pretty breakfast is called banh cuon; the white noodles below the fried bread, cucumbers, basil, crunchy onions and red pepper are made from steamed rice flour sheets. I had a double breakfast today, heading straight for this after a rice cake starter.

In the picture below, you can see the round pot that is topped with linen... the sheets are steamed and then lifted off the linen with a little bamboo stick. Some banh cuon - like this one - is then filled with a mixture of ground pork and wood ear mushrooms, rolled up and cut into chunks. Of course, the whole thing is covered with nuoc cham, the fish sauce, lime and red pepper sauce that makes everything even better.

In the past two years I have traveled in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and - of course - extensively through Vietnam. All of this Southeast Asia traveling has confirmed one thing for me: I chose the right place to live for this adventure. Vietnam wins in so many categories.

I love Vietnam. I love the way it moves, the way it smells, and - of course - I love the way it tastes. I love its people, its coziness and its craziness. Mostly, though - love for a place equals a whole lot of intagible qualities all tangled up together.

The food here isn't as diverse as in Malaysia, but I love the sweet aspect that is absent in so many cuisines, and I also appreciate the freshness. Everything is made right in front of you, even though oftentimes you wish they had done some of it ahead of time because of the wait required.

Anyway, it's good to be back~I think it will always feel good to be back.


Amy T. said...


love for a place
a whole lot of
intangible qualities
all tangled up together

love for a place
the way it moves
the way it smells
the way it tastes
all tangled up together

love for a place
its people
its coziness
its craziness
all tangled up together

I think it will always feel good to be back
all tangled up together

Anonymous said...

Cool comment by Amy T.-so right on. Your words are magical and soothing to the soul to read. Someday I hope to go back with you! Jaci

Angie said...

Lovely poem, Amy T.! Marj, when you write your memoirs, Amy's poem needs to be at the beginning of the book.

Rita Ireland said...

I think Amy has replaced the One-Minute Poet.

The many entries of your Sweet, Salty 'n Crunchy blog these past two years were always "tangled up together" with crazy juxtapositions, Marjie.

Those are the best ways to learn and love life.

Most memorable at the moment...crying and laughing next to the caged rooster seatmate at the wedding.
If that isn't so "District 1".

Mungobollspig said...

Good to be back in the blog.