This is one of my mom's favorite food memories from Christmas three years ago: the seafood stand right around the corner from the castle. My mom loved these scallops best...you dip them in a mixture of salt, pepper and lime. Scallops are served this way all across Vietnam. The Seafood Couple who runs this stand are extremely gracious, but isn't almost everyone here?
Pictured to the right: Fingernail clams with rau muong. I love the little squares of pure fat, like bacon, that she stir fries into it...
Who: Marjie, a life-long resident and high school teacher from Seattle What: Decides to rent out her condo and sign a ten-month contract to teach sixth grade English and Ancient History at a relatively new, quickly growing international school in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam When: In August, with one month's notice - along with 33 others from the US, Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand (most of them last-minute, too)
p.s. (That was last year; now she's on Year #2)
Frequently Mentioned Cast
The Castle - a five story stack house with a rooftop deck, in the midst of the best morning market in the city. Katherine - castlemate and the primary PE teacher from Montreal, Canada. Franco - castlemate and a third grade teacher from Portland, Oregon. Tarn - former castlemate and the high school librarian from Wellington, New Zealand (in many of last year's posts). Pretty Lady - Tarn's bicycle. Nam (or "Mom") - Marjie's motorcycle-taxi driver and surrogate mother. He is also Marjie's self-appointed food screener. Nam's Family - sells fabric at the morning market. Thuy (pronounced "Twee") - sells fabric at the morning market and serves as the castle's Sunday night cooking instructor. Thanh - (pronounced "Tawn") Thuy's sister and business partner. Sweet Seamstress or Ms. Hao - seamstress who lives three doors down from the castle. Her assistant is Lieu and her son is Ut. Bum Bum Girls - girls who work at the Bum Bum Salon in the alley near the Castle. Katherine and Marjie's "second home." Tran - Katherine and Marjie's favorite massage therapist at the Bum Bum (she's not there anymore; now she comes to the castle for massages on request). Banana Cake Lady and Rice Lady - women who supply Marjie's breakfast each morning. "The Band" - Four people who regularly comment on the blog: Brian, Karyn ("the norris clan"), Amy ("amyt"), Bill (used to be "kumma" or "sbill" but recently transformed into "Mungo") and one person who makes star appearances: Rita (of One-Minute-Poem fame).