Yes that’s two birds you see in the cage. Cheerio has a new friend. We decided he needed a bird friend so he wouldn’t be lonely. Now we have two.
The kids are excited because the new parakeet is much tamer and we can interact a bit more.
One thing to know if you ever come live in Hanoi is that the incredible humidity can create some interesting mold problems. I pulled a pair of shoes and pants out of my closet that had not been touched in a few weeks and this is what I found:
Fortunately they are not ruined, but it is disgusting.
We continue to have interesting outings on the street and love trying new foods. Sweet potatoes are a popular street food here, and they come in purple. Kate, always the adventurous eater, enjoyed a sweet potato (with butter, which is not Vietnamese):
Most Vietnamese do not buy their food at a grocery store, and meats are not packaged or stamped with a USDA stamp. Meat is sold everywhere in the open air like this:We took a stroll through the Botanical Gardens. We saw a cage of peacocks and another cage of monkeys.
There was an outdoor roller skating rink/basketball court at the botanical gardens.
On the street there are lots of entrepreneurs with “mobile stores” — they carry and sell all kinds of things from their baskets. This lady has some kind of bamboo.
Every nook and cranny is used for selling. The alley here is used as a market:
We tried a new food yesterday – a very thin rice pancake stuffed with brown rice and mushrooms (Banh cuon). It is a breakfast food. Our breakfast cost 30,000 dong, which is $1.50. Most Vietnamese do not eat breakfast in their homes. They go outside and eat pho with their neighbors at one of the omnipresent food stalls.
Here is a video of our banh cuon being made:
One favorite street food snack for our kids (yes, something they ALL like besides ice cream) is grilled corn.
People always ask if Kate and Anna are twins. I found them t-shirts perfect for them this week:
I have been on a quest to find a Vietnamese artist to do a residency in Cleveland and work with Young Audiences next year. I have met many people, including dancers from the Vietnamese National Ballet and Opera. I watched them rehearse a traditional Vietnamese dance: