Current Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

I’m certainly glad I made it back down for the wedding I was invited to.  There was a fair amount of trepidation towards it seeing as I could have ended up sticking out quite badly and being awkward at the same time.  Fortunately for me I just end up sticking out but without the awkward part of it.  Fatimas mom and her sisters family ended up taking care of me more than I could have rightly asked anyone to have done and even went as far as to include me in the ceremony of the wedding.

Fortunately for me the only job was to carry some gifts from the grooms house to the brides house and give the gifts over.  After that I just stood and sat around looking goofy as people made speeches, brides cried and grooms looked happy.  This ceremony actually took place at 6a when the fortuneteller predicted would be the best time for the wedding to take place.  Luckily for me the drinking didn’t start until 7p that night along with a 7 course dinner. The title of the post is whats chanted before drinking, much like the American ‘cheers’ (there is another word before the ‘Hai’ but I never caught it.)

I got to meet one of my old friends from Regal yesterday and the day before which was pretty neat.  They were here on a cruise from Singapore and stopped here for a day.  Nice running into them, we shared some food and I got caught up on the goings on back home.

I’d like to share my theory on street food and why It’s the best thing to eat in Viet Nam.  First of all it’s the cheapest food around, the fact that they don’t pay rent is a huge bonus; you just have to get used to the fact that you’re eating on the sidewalk on chairs made for kindergarteners.  Second of all, and more importantly, everything is transparent in terms of how things are prepared.  Most people I think are blissfully unaware of kitchen conditions because they can’t see them whereas the food cooked on the sidewalk has nowhere to hide.  Third is the food itself is amazing, usually these people only make one or two dishes meaning they have perfected the food they are serving otherwise no one would visit their stall.  All of the reasons I’ve found have yet to let me down, usually a meal costs less than a dollar and may a little more than a dollar if you throw in a beer.  How can that be wrong???

I can ceartainly see now why many travellers have said one needs to experience Viet Nam to understand it.  And while I don’t claim to understand Viet Nam at all I at least have some ideas of the place.  Besides the food being incredible the people here are really nice, contrary to what I had thought might have happened to an American running around the country.

I’ll post some pictures in the next few days hopefully.

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