Saturday, April 29, 2006
I have spoken to lots of different people before writing this. I went to see where they live, in tiny rooms of about 10 square meters, smelly and dirty where about 15 people stay over night. They pay about 5000Vnd for a night and I can't really imagine what it's like in the winter or in a rainy season. It probably floods or it'd be really damp, cold and stinky.
Even though they tolerate such bad living conditions, people don't seem to care and they still come to the city. In their minds, they honestly think that a wonderful life in a beautiful city is possible regardless of the risks involved. A simple theft of their daily money could ruin their life.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
The title seems very sensitive even silly. Yes, I agree but I like it.
In Viet Nam, it's quite common for people of the same sex to walk along the street hand in hand or linking arms. Maybe people from other cultures will find this a little strange, but it's normal for men and women to show physical affection. Kissing in public is a different story. About 10 years ago, Vietnamese people considered kissing as something very sacred and private which should be done in a very dark place or inside their house and not in front of anyone.
What do you think? Is it similar where you come from?
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
In Hanoi, people are more used to eating at home. After work, people hurriedly go to the market to buy some food and go home, cook and eat with their family. This is a good thing to do, but it's time consuming. However, a popular dish to have out of the home in Hanoi is Pho Ga (Noodles with chicken), the special point of which is that people can eat it as a snack or as the main course, and the location is not a problem at all.
I think people have started eating out for lunch more now in big cities, or they're prepared food for the whole day in the morning, so that they can save their time and they still can enjoy their meals at home. Vietnamese people usually take a short nap after lunch and that's why there is little action on the street at lunch time.
Friday, April 21, 2006
"Hot bread here" is a very popular announcement from the bread sellers which can be heard all day, from about 5 am til late at night.
There was an old lady who used to sell bread around our old apartment in the Cao Ba Quat street area,who had a man's voice which was very distinct and that's why I always bought bread from her. Her voice used to wake me up in the mornings. In our new place here in West Lake, I see lots of people selling bread but they ride a bicycle. They charge the same price and it's important to ask for fresh bread like mine this morning, which I bought at 6 am. I asked the lady to throw them up to me on the second floor and I threw the money back down to her. I was a bit lazy and still sleepy but I was glad that I made it to buy the fresh bread to write about this today. Writing about the bread while smelling it so fresh makes me feel so good.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Medium size prawns: 100g
Tamarind paste: 50g
Cooking oil: 20g
+ To make the tamarind sauce:
* First: put one bowl of water in a pot; bring to a boil then put tamarind paste in; simmer until the sauce is watery then filter out all the tamarind seeds and fibre.
* Next: pour the above tamarind sauce; seasoning; sugar & chicken powder into a pot; bring to the boil until the sauce is thick. The sauce should have a sweet & sour taste.
+ To prepare the prawns:
- Wash prawns thoroughly.
- Put some water in a pot; bring to a boil then put prawns in. Boil for about 5 minutes.
- Put cooking oil into a saucepan; heat until very hot; put chopped garlic in and stir until it browns slightly; put prepared tamarind sauce & prawns in; mix well then sprinkle peanuts on top.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Someone said "No matter how tall and skinny a building, it seems that there is always room for more storeys." This is the reality of Vietnamese architecture and I'm not sure that you can see this any where else in the world. Because Viet nam doesn't have much land and our population is increasing unbelievably fast, property in Hanoi and in other big cities is very expensive and the price rises everyday.
If you have a good look inside a typical house, you may be surprised because there are about 8 0r 9 people living in such a small area. Sometimes they don't even have a permanent bed, a garden hardly ever. They only put mattresses or mats down before they sleep then they fold them back up in the morning. And imagine, there is one tiny kitchen and bathroom in one house. What do you really think? Could you live in this situation?
Monday, April 10, 2006
The tickets were much cheaper than I thought, from only 20,000Vnd to 30,000Vnd. If I remember correctly, in Nha Trang the tickets costs me about 50,000Vnd each. Maybe I am wrong.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Brush some sugar and butter around the banana then grill it for few minutes till it’s yellow. Then soak it in brandy and set it alight to caramelize slightly. Before serving this dish, dust with cinnamon powder and tip the sauce over.
Sauce: Honey, yoghurt, orange juice mixed with some sugar syrup.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
Fishing is a popular hobby in Hanoi, especially around West Lake. Lots of people sit by the lakeside try to fish with their bamboo fishing rods.