week 1: elegantly vietnamese

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As new parents, we had never really gone on a holiday together as a family with our 10 month old daughter. Sure our daughter has had her first plane ride at the mere age of 3 months to visit my mother, but that didn’t really count as a holiday. Sure I went to Thailand with my husband for a long weekend, with baby lovingly being cared for by mother back home. But that holiday felt incomplete. I wanted a real family holiday, as in: me, my husband, and our newest member.. Bébé. So off we went to Vietnam, with Bébé bobbing up and down in a Kelty backpack, ready for some serious adventure. And boy, was it fun! We stuffed our face with delicious Vietnamese dishes in Hanoi and admired the scenic beauty of Ninh Binh. Because Vietnamese people love children in general and many were intrigued by a baby being carried away in a backpack, we got the opportunity to chat and mingle with so many kind warm-hearted locals.

Anyway, having just returned from the wonderful country that is Vietnam, I now constantly crave and daydream about Pho Bo, Bun Cha, Banh Mi, Sot Vang and coffee with yoghurt (it is certainly strange at first, but boy do you get hooked on it fast). Vietnamese food are complex, delicate, sense-tingling and I find, very elegant despite the fact that you can be eating on a sidewalk, trying to balance your whole weight in a teeny-mini baby stool, with the traffic gnarling just less than a metre away from you. I miss the whole experience of Vietnamese street-food already. Not having any plans to return to Vietnam any time soon, and because the only decent Vietnamese joint is on the other side of town, I took matters into my own hand and declared to my husband (who couldn’t be happier) “this week, we’re cooking Vietnamese!”.

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