I remember when I used to just come here as a tourist, every two-three years or so, and between each visit I would be somewhere, and a random smell would just giddily remind me of Vietnam. Be it marinated pork grilling over fresh coals, pungent fish sauce, seafood grilling, motorbike petrol fumes, garbage, urban rivers (read: open sewers), or just simply put, the distinct combination of all these smells together plus more. Supercharged of course, by humid, tropical weather. Whatever it was, I absolutely loved it.
Unfortunately, after nearly a year living here, for better or worse, those smells have just normalized for me. They don’t me giddy no more. Grilled pork is just…..kinda normal now. Motorbike petrol fumes no longer excite me. Instead they jsut remind me that with every breath I take on my bike, I’m losing fragments of my lungs. Hell, I’ve learnt to take deep breaths as I approach any garbage truck or river, so as to avoid having to smell pure, unadulterated shit as I drive past.
I do look forward to the day those nostalgic feelings eventually return. Even if it does unfortunately, coincide with my leaving the country.
Anyways, I digress massively based on a random thought I had whilst riding home this afternoon.
Let’s move on to what you all came here for. A photo array.
Today’s photo set focuses upon reaffirming to my legion of female fans, that in addition to all my other desirable traits, I’m also concerningly good in the kitchen.
A fortnight or so ago, my boy Maxxie came to me begging if I’d cater a small dinner party with my highly-lauded version of Banh Xeo (Vietnamese savoury crepes). Being a true gentleman, I of course obliged, and after awarding house-mate Eddy the honor of serving under me as sous chef, we did a 9am run to the local market, grabbed all the ingredients for about $10, and cooked up a storm for about 8 kids.
Unfortunately, as is the nature of cooking Banh Xeo (continuous), I didn’t get to really taste my product. No matter though. As the satisfied smiles of my guests was enough to satiate me that evening.
Look at the bag control on that batter-bag. You can’t teach that shit.
Never let a Malaysian control the chilli allotment for fish sauce.
Authoritative knife control.
Look at that wrist-control on the pan. Sensual.
Myself, Joyous and Maxxie
Hoai-Anh. Resident frenchie-vietnamese.
Mad friends bro
Raks looking over some Bun Cha
Raks shows off the hickey I gifted her
The girls on the ground floor of Cho Hom. Hanoi’s overwhelming fabric market.
Cong Caphe – communist themed cafe. Hanoi trendy-ite hangout. A local favourite.
Some girl friends at a local Bia Hoi