I usually go to WikiTravel for my translations of most common phrases and it's interesting the way because list down stuff you can say in emergency situations like if you get mugged or held-up at gunpoint like "Don't touch me!" or "Can you tell me where the police station is?" or "Leave me alone!" Really? Like if you were in Russia being held-up, you are to say "Я вызову полицию! (yah VYH-zah-voo poh-LEE-tsyh-yoo!)--I'll call the Police!" What about "You sonuvab*tch! Then run and scream "Help!" like (actually it does) your life depended on it--that's what the Nicole Phrasebook would say.:-)
Kidding aside, the Wikitravel phrasebook pages can help you too. Especially when it comes to dining. And of all the lists of phrases for dining, I think the one they have on Vietnam is one of the more lengthy ones--and rightfully so. Which is why I love my mother's home, Vietnam. I say any place that has French Baguette (crunchy outside, tender and soft crumb) and fresh pressed coffee listed as street food is a place worth going to again and again. Agree? And believe me, if you haven't been to Vietnam, the street food culture alone will definitely make it worth your while. So this week, this is precisely where we are going.
I went there a couple of years back to meet up with my mother who is now based in the United States. She's been there since I was 7 but even though she's been in America for a long time now, she remains to be a Vietnamese girl in her heart and mind. Not to mention palate. Of course she's the best Vietnamese cook I know, and I say this with no biases at all. Mom and I--we're not so very close, not with the distance and with the absence of so many years. I'm really more of a Dad's girl, if I'm being honest with you. So food (her native food, that is) is the one thing that could keep us on the same page for at least a couple of days. And that is why I have this deep love, understanding and respect for the food of Vietnam.
Today's lunch: Bún chả hà nội (Vietnamese Pork Tenderloin Barbecue), Rice Vermicelli and a tiny bottle of Nuoc Cham.
Sẽ quay lại sớm. Be back soon. :-)