Considering today was the end of the world according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar, I managed to pack a great deal of Christmasing into the last couple of days. Just in case, you know?
Our friend Lucia was nice enough to invite us out again this week! We went for street-side Vietnamese barbeque with her and her friend Pippy. We ordered morning glory greens to start and all the fixings for a hot pot.
Hot pot is like a brothy soup. The servers brought over a BBQ “pail”, for lack of a better way of putting it, and put a pot on the top of it with hot broth. They then brought over a massive plate of noodles, seafood, bok choy and other greens.
Pippy was the chef that night. She put all of the fixings into the pot and then served us all. It was so fresh, healthy and delicious! The only way to do Vietnamese food is with the Vietnamese. Really and truly.
After sufficiently stuffing ourselves, we hopped on the backs of Lucia and Pippy’s bikes to head to the Christmas displays in the square. The Vietnamese love to take photos and we were happy to model for our friends.
It was bizarre at times because when we would approach a display, the Vietnamese would move out of our way (which NEVER happens here!) and allow us to pose first. We thought this was so thoughtful. Then we realized that they were also taking photos of us. It was kind of embarrassing that we were part of the experience for them. Watching Canadians enjoy Christmas… who knew it could be so riveting!
Our final night of the world’s existence included a Christmas party with my adult class followed by drinks with four of our favourite co-workers. We had our first “street beer” experience. No, we didn’t exactly slurp beer off the road but we did sit in tiny kiddie chairs and ordered 12,000 VND (about $0.60) beer. Oh yeah, it was a cheap night. As the beer flowed, out came the Christmas decorations. We put our Santa hats on and Bagheera adorned our friend Martin with lovely garland.
We celebrated the continued existence of the world at midnight, had a few more drinks and then walked Martin part of the way home before hopping in a cab, noisily waking up our security guard to open the gate for us, and happily decorated our little Christmas tree that Bagheera’s Aunt Stinkney so thoughtfully sent over for the flat.