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A night to remember 23 August 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Happiness, Life, Vietnam.
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Last night was memorable. It was one of those nights that just developed with little planning, and which I will cherish as one of the nicest nights out in Hanoi.

Friends of my partner, whom we have not seen for a while came to our house for the first time. They played the piano and sang, and we all drank green tea. The house virtually shook under the force of one of their voices at his rendition of “O Sole Mio”, and my partner was given extensive instructions in Vietnamese pronunciation of his songs.

Soon we were invited to join them for dinner, although our suggested venue was not accepted, because it was “too expensive and not good”. Instead, we went to a Vietnamese seafood restaurant which sports two gigantic prawns at the entrance. We have only ever admired this venue from afar, and never thought we would ever try it. But the food was amazing.

We took a private room, and we let our friends do all the ordering.

Conversation went surprisingly smoothly, even for me, and we talked about music and singing, about family and travelling, work and play. Two of our friends have a young son whom we had met last time we saw them, so there was an opportunity for me to ooh and aah over his most recent pictures. He’s turning into a very handsome little boy indeed.

The food was way too much – I have literally never eaten that much in my entire life. And they would not accept that I was full, especially because they didn’t think I had eaten that much. It is still astonishing to me how much food can go down the hatch for some Vietnamese people, yet they are still as skinny as they are.

I felt sick from overeating before the final courses were even ordered, when two gigantic crabs and an entire fish was brought out. Out of politeness (and being served with the insistence paralleled only by Italian women!) I had some of each, but I could hardly even chew through the meal.

They ended up asking to get the final course (yes, there was rice porridge yet to come) take away, because there was just no way for me to have another bite.

But the food was really good. There were prawns, clams, squid, fish, soup, crab, more fish, oysters the size of your fist, noodles, vegetables and french fries. All the amazing joys that is Vietnamese seafood. And the people we were with were genuinely just the loveliest people you could possibly spend an evening with. We chatted, learnt new Vietnamese expressions (all Kosher, of course) and enjoyed each other’s company. Or at least I enjoyed theirs.

What a lovely Sunday.