Sunday 16 June 2019

Vietnamese moments and reminiscing

Now that the recent holiday is fading into the distance, we've been talking about some of our favourite parts of it.

Mr Fork's aunty volunteers with a group of her friends to cook at a home for the blind on a regular basis. While we were there, we all went along too and helped out in the industrial kitchen. It was a bit of a social occasion with a good cause, and there was lots of chatter in amongst food preparation. While the picture below doesn't reflect scale well, that big paella looking pan in the background was well over a metre wide, and the 'smaller' pot at the front (with the vegetarian option) was half the diameter. There was a lot of food to prep and cook! It was also extremely tasty too. I want my children to grow up knowing that they are fortunate, and that not everyone has the same opportunities they do, and I think seeing how different countries live was an eye opener for them.
One of my children's favourite parts was when they got to feed koi fish with joyous abandon from the top of an (artificial) lily pad. For 60c, we were given a baby bottle full of fish food pellets and when lowered into the water, the koi came swarming. My little girl tells me with good authority that koi fish eating en masse sounds just like the sound of thumb sucking.
My friend's home had her very own breadfruit tree in the yard. The trees can get huge and have a high yield of fruit. I don't really see them much in Australia, but these things enchant me. Looks like they should be sweet and juicy like a mango. In actuality, they taste and cook more like a potato.
The same friend above gifted me a pair of shoes when I commented that hers looked fabulous. I often forget about the sheer generosity of people over there, and I have to be careful to keep gushing praise and comments about pretty things to myself because they are so giving. If I so much as looked at food from a street vendor for too long, I ended up with a serving of it in hand (believe me, when it comes to fresh fruit and sweet treats it's hard to say no!) so I didn't complain too much (although my waistline protested when I came home). Anyway, I recently had a belated mother's day event with some other school mothers on a Sunday afternoon and what better excuse to frock up and wear the most glorious red heels?!
Vietnam, you are just glorious. Full of wonderful food, fabulous people and so much to see and do.  I love the nightlife, the weather (my hair adores the humidity) and just quietly, I also love shoes and you deliver in spades (or heels?!). I love your crazy motorbike traffic, the availability of delicious fresh bahn mi and fruit with chilli, and the smells, sights and scenes we just don't get here. We will definitely be back!
It was a great holiday and a wonderful time spent introducing our children to part of their heritage and relatives we don't get to see every day.


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