Friday, September 21, 2012

Cooking chao tom

Students came over to make chao tom (grilled shrimp paste wrapped around sugarcane sticks) for us. It was delicious. This item is common in Saigon but not in Dalat. So when Andy told them about it, one of them learned how to make it and came to make it for us. What a treat!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I have a kitchen!

We've moved in to the new home for three weeks now. We are still getting used to the new place and new neighborhood as this is our first time living off campus after four years in Vietnam--with real local neighbors, dogs roaming around in the neighborhood, water and electric bills to take care of etc. And for the first time in four years, I have a kitchen, and a kitchen sink! No more washing on the floor or in the tiny bathroom sink.

The one thing that I did notice when we first saw the place was that there is no hot water at the sink. My heart kind of sank a little since even at the university guest house, we managed to pull the bathroom shower hose over to the sink for washing with hot water. I could not imagine washing dishes especially oily ones with plain cold water. My first thought was to install a water heater. But Andy said just wait for a week and see. Students and many families here don't even have hot water ANYWHERE in the home. Many of them just boil hot water for showering and washing dishes when needed. And here I talk as if it is a given to have hot water and that with a flip of a button I can just put in a water heater without thinking twice. So, so far, we've been filling a bucket with hot water from the bathroom and haul it to the kitchen sink for helping with dishes--another humbling experience living in a developing country and learning to be thankful...