Greetings from gorgeous Southeast Asia. The sun is out, the people are out, flowers are blooming, people are happy, lovers are kissing on the bridge, it’s a good day to be alive. The more days go by, the stronger my desire to stay gets. I’ve been reading job listings on a daily basis, you know, just to see if i could stumble upon my dream job. “Beer drinker needed” hasn’t come up yet, so it looks like i’ll be returning in a couple months unless a miracle happens. Yesterday i passed up the opportunity to act in a made for tv movie. The job consisted of saying a couple lines in Vietnamese. The movie, so i’m told, was a history channel movie about the French occupation, I should have asked Pierre the chef about that, and they needed a white face to say some lines. I’m sure I would have been able to read the lines no doubt, but the difficult part was talking to the director on the phone in Vietnamese about an acting job, i don’t know that lingo, so i said no. I only have a couple more weeks here in HCMC, then Michael and i are going to head north. We’ll take a bus to Nha Trang, a beach city about 450 kilometers north. We’ll stay there for two nights then catch another bus further north to Da Nang, another 641 kilometers. We’ll spend a couple days there, probably get some cashmere suits made, then catch a plane to Ha Noi. But all that’s more than two weeks away, just fresh in my head because we made the plans last night. I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. Next year i’m taking an advanced pure mathematics course that will bring me closer to my bachelor’s of science. At the end of the year i’d be 12 upper division credits short of the requirements and 20 credits short of the total requirements. So here’s an idea i’ve been tossing around, I think in addition to math systems i’m going to do 4 credits of undergrad research with a faculty member, hopefully those will be upper division. So after the year i’ll have 48 credits from math systems plus 12 from research, and that would bring my total credits to 172, 8 shy of graduating. Do one summer session and I’ll graduate this time next year. It’s a big change from my stay for three more years plan, but i’ve been ready to graduate since i enrolled, specifically ready to work. I don’t know, just an idea, subject to change without notice of course.
Last night our landlord fixed dinner for the entire guesthouse plus Ian.
The bones and spices used to make the broth:
Plus tamarind to add some sourness, and some lemongrass for the citrus, looks like this:
To add to the broth, small bits at a time we had clams, shrimp, squid, beef and morning glory, and rice noodles on the side to put in our individual bowls.
Once the broth came to a boil i added the shrimp
Then the beef and squid
Then Michael forgot to add broth to his bowl:
Everyone in the house except our landlord ate. I’m not sure why she didn’t eat, guess she was more concerned with feeding us. It was a good dinner. Often This hot pot has red snapper in it or some other fish, tomatoes give it the red color, and of course salt, sugar and pepper, and a dash of MSG for that special delicious taste.
Also last night a girl told me i look like David Beckham:
Today Michael and I went out for Vietnamese BBQ. You sit at a table that has a circular grill in the middle of it, order a bunch of meat, they bring it out marinated and raw, you throw it on the grill, wait a few minutes, flip it, wait a few more minutes, eat it and repeat. First we ordered some fried rice wrapped in lotus leaves.
Then we ordered some goat breasts and beef marinated in five spice, which is a mixture of ground star anise, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and fennel. It gives it a nice kick in flavor.
and the grilling:
And we also ordered a side of grilled okra.
After lunch we came home and went to a local dentist. Minh (the landlord’s daughter) had an appointment to get her braces checked out so Michael and i tagged along hoping to get x-rays taken. We get to the dentist and the idea is you don’t set an appointment, unless he tells you to come back, and you just wait your turn. We waited about 15 minutes and Minh and I went in together to get my teeth cleaned. It had been a while, and man, that spinning metal toothpick thing is painful, not just the drilling into the teeth, but the sound. It gives me the shivers. So he cleaned my teeth and i paid him $7. Michael didn’t get his teeth cleaned because the dentist didn’t have an x-ray machine. I think tomorrow we are going to a different one to get x-rays taken. The dentist was nice, he was the only one there, no receptionist, one chair, first come first serve, and you have to take your shoes off. Hope everyone has a great day, til tomorrow.