Thursday, May 8, 2008

First Night in Hanoi

Maya likes to feed us and has been doing so for a couple of days. Here's Maya and Daddy sharing a melon, banana and yogurt shake.

Last night we went to a restaurant called Restaurant 69. Matt had a tuna steak with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. You might think that sounds very Westernn but the mashed potatoes were covered with a sauce that tasted like pineapple. I had sour soup with fish. Sour soup is made with tamarind, a bean like fruit from the tamarind tree. When ripe it is brown, sticky, and has a sweet and sour taste. It is covered with a brown crunchy peel. Sour soup is made with chunks of pineapple, tomatoes and any other kind of fruit or vegetable, such as squash, okra, taro, and almost ripe papaya. You can add fish or any meat.

Vietnamese Buddhists eat only vegetarian food two days per month. On those days they add tofu instead of meat. Of course, some Buddhist are vegetarian all the time. And some vegetarians are Buddhist all the time, just kidding. I once read that in the Southeastern Asian Buddhist tradition, monks have historically been omnivores, because they beg for food and eat whatever people give them. But Zen Buddhists are primarily vegetarian. My friend Ly may want to correct me on this. The monk that runs the orphanage she supports near Nha Trang is a strict vegetarian. Anyway, some people call Zen Buddhism the Mahayana tradition (greater vehicle)and the Southeast Asian Buddhism the Hiniyana tradition (lesser vehicle). I object to these terms for obvious reasons. Sorry, I digress, waxing religion and philosophy.

On the way home, I took a picture of this meat on a stick table at a sidewalk restaurant. I guess you pick your kabob and they grill it for you. It reminded me of that scene from "Something about Mary when Camaron Diaz states that we should have more kinds of meat on a stick while eating a corn dog. Camaron Diaz needs to come to Vietnam. I'm sure her role in Shreck when she ate weedrat on a stick will prepare her for Vietnam. Oh, I just thought of a new survey...
How do you like the weather station? Thank you Stacey and Corey! For funny pictures of sleep deprived new parents just home from Vietnam, log onto The Stevens Family blog. To see how the Curries are faring with Kiet, log onto the Curry Family blog. Now I have to figure out how to link them to my blog.


StaceynCorey said...

So glad you made it. Ok, so our flight to Hanoi was great and our trip home was not so great so perhaps your trip home will be great because your trip to Hanoi was challenging. Well, wishing you luck anyway.

Oh, BTW, you can stop into the Somerset Grand and get a tourist map. It was a life saver for us. Have fun in Hanoi and keep the pictures coming :)

thecurryseven said...

Hi Irene,

I couldn't figure out another way to get a hold of you. :-) I think your Ha Long Bay tour is the better deal. Either call us (844-8430030, rm 407) or email us: biguglyhouse at sbcglobal dot net and we can talk about it. I didn't ask about the perfume pagoda, but I bet it's more expensive as well...just as everything is in this little part of Hanoi.