Long time, no uppy datey. Here it is. It’s gonna be biggen. First up, a while ago Lien and I made some phỏ. First thing we had to do was buy some bones:
And clean them:
they were big:
and the meat
Don’t forget to parboil the bones, get rid of those impurities:
The stove we used, and Nhõ the dog smelling the stove:
spices shallots goodies
we went and bought a sugarcane and mashed it up to make the broth sweet, and started simmering everything:
And after 7 hours of that simmering we ate. I didn’t get any pictures of the finished product, but we ate phỏ for a week at least.
What else have I been up to? I bought an electric bicycle, and it has given me my own form of transportation for the first time in my life. It’s awesome. I no longer pay for transportation, no gas, no taxis, no bus, just a sweet little electric bicycle. I mostly pedal, but once i’m going up a hill or if i’m in a rush i’ll use the electricity, or if i need a burst of acceleration to get across the street before six buses and eight bentleys come.
Lien and I went to the hospital not too long ago to visit her uncle who is having heart problems. He was admitted into the hospital, which apparently is supposed to be the best hospital in Hà Nội, it’s a military hospital, and he’s been there for a couple weeks. The rooms hold six patients, and the floors are pretty dirty. I’m sure their equipment and doctors are great, but the building is old so it’s not super sanitary. I imagine the critical condition rooms are more clean. Anyways he’s about to have an operation, originally they were going to put in a stint to open his arteries, but i guess the latest is three balloons followed by two stints. I think i saw one of the most depressing things ever while we were sitting there talking to him. There was an old man staying in the same room, his bed was right next to Lien’s uncle’s. He was just laying there with oxygen tubes in his nose, and i noticed he had a visitor. As i was watching i saw the visitor lean over and put his ear next to the old man’s mouth to listen to him say something, he then massaged the old man’s legs and arms. Then he grabbed him and pulled him up to let him sit on the bed. The old man couldn’t move at all, and as soon as he was sitting he started drooling. I’ve never seen anyone look so miserable and unwilling to live in my life. It brought tears to my eyes. His visitor then walked into the bathroom, got a piss bucket and brought it back to the bed, pulled his pants down, put the old man’s wiener into the bottle, waited five minutes, then dumped it and pulled his pants back up. I said to Lien and her uncle, “this man doesn’t want to live,” and her uncle said “no, he just wants to go home and die, but his kids won’t let him, they want to keep him alive as long as possible, it’s the right thing to do.” “yeah, but he’s not alive, there isn’t an ounce in his body that’s living, there’s no desire to live, nothing is functioning, he’s obviously in pain, this is not the right thing to do, take him home, who the fuck would want to stare up at a hospital ceiling for the last weeks of their life and who would look forward to visitors coming to hold a piss bottle and wipe drool off their face?”
So that was really emotional for me, the whole experience of being at the hospital. Her uncle seemed healthy and really optimistic about the whole operation and it took me back to the first weeks of june 2003.
What else have I done?
Oh i got a job
I teach 2 classes a week. One is wednesday mornings and it’s college students who want to study abroad or do work and travel abroad and need to prepare for the visa interviews. So it’s basically an “english for interviews” class. So we just meet 2 hours a week and roleplay different interview scenarios and i have them present in front of the class. My other class is thursday nights and that’s high school kids. Last week we talked about global warming and renewable energy and this week was the differences between canada and the US. 4 hours a week seems about the perfect work schedule.
About a week ago Lien and I went with a charity group to an orphanage in one of the poorest provinces in the country. There were about 80 people who went, mostly kids. We brought all kinds of stuff; computers, instant noodles, rope for tug of war, mats to sit on, rice flour to make desserts, water, juice, prizes, medals for the kids. Here we are preparing to leave:
We arrived and there was a welcome speech and the kids listened:
we then went and made rice-ball desserts with sugar in the middle:(not my picture)
they had a garden with cabbage and morning glory and other herbs and veggies:
we handed out welcome gifts:(not my picture)
about a hundred of us ate lunch:(not mine) THe girl front left nearly passed out at the end of the day, she had been running around all day, carrying jugs of water and trays of food, working non-stop, think she had heat stroke/excitement stroke
The girls at the orphanage were far better behaved then the boys. The girls (4 or 5) washed all 100+ dishes after lunch while the boys ran around pretending to punch each other.
we had some sack races, songs, and tug of war:
I hoed some soil and dance lessons:(not mine)
and Lien planted some Morning Glory:
here are two links to more pictures from the event:
I think that will be it for today. School started, and I’m busy.
Til next time