we eat and we eat and we eat.
we go to bun bo nam bo. they serve only one dish: bun bo nam bo, of course, and they bring it to us as soon as we sit down at a metal table. the only question is: drink? so we get two Saigon beers. bun bo nam bo has vermicelli noodles, thinly sliced grilled beef, and lettuce and herbs in a sweet and savory broth, topped with chopped peanuts and crispy fried onions.
we go to cha ca la vong. they serve only one dish, too – you guessed it – cha ca. it’s fried fish with tumeric, dill, spring onions, fish sauce, rice noodles, peanuts, chilis, herbs. they cook it on a metal pan right at the table in front of us.
my airB&B host, Hien, invites us to his cafe, a little place called canopee coffee shop tucked away in an alley. his family cooks lunch for us. we meet his wife and daughter and mother and grandmother and we all sit down together and eat they food they’ve made: fresh rolls and boiled chicken and chicken noodle soup with fresh lemon leaves snipped from the balcony garden. I am proud to be one of the few to finish my whole bowl of soup. it is one of the most pleasant meals we have in the city, and some of the most pleasant company.