Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Eating on the Street

One of our hopes for this Journey of the Heart was that we would experience Vietnam and its culture at an intimate level. With the lovely and gracious Quyen as our guide and companion we have begun to see how the Vietnamese live from day to day in this ancient city and the verdant countryside. Our hosts at our homestay have also been most welcoming and we have shared meals at their table and celebrations of Tet preparation and the rituals followed to usher in the New Year.
We certainly would not have found this bakery without Quyen. We watched the bread being baked, before sitting in a little alley way cafe, beside the hole in the wall where the wood for the oven was fed with logs. We dipped baguettes fresh from the oven into our soup. As always we provided the entertainment as we squeezed down the narrow passage to our stools and crouched awkwardly thereupon.
The old gent, just a few yards down the road from the bakery was serving a desert made of black sesame seeds. The pasty substance the color of roofing tar was delicious!
You would think that we are doing nothing but eat, but as in all cultures the sharing of food and drink is a welcome. Here in Hoi An, there is great pride in the unique, local specialties.

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