Last Friday we received our first, small shipment of belongings. Most of our boxes will arrive sometime in November, but we were allowed a small shipment of immediate necessities to arrive the week after we did. Most of our necessities were intended to make Oliver feel like he was home. He received his crib, high chair and all of his toys while hubby and I packed a few things we wanted as well. One of the arrivals was our hiking backpack. Hubby bought this hiking backpack specifically for this trip because it can hold a child up to 50lbs and he guessed that this would be the easiest way to get around with Oliver. He was absolutely right. The sidewalks are big in some places, but non existent in others, making a stroller impractical.
Luckily, the backpack came just in time for the weekend, so we were able to do some walking around Hanoi. We basically walked around all day Saturday, exploring our own neighborhood. Our location is ideal for us because we are right in the heart of the city and can easily walk to the shops and street vendors around us.
We live next to “food street” which is as amazing as it sounds. The food is delicious, albeit a little scary even to an adventurous eater like me. Hanoi offers many restaurants, but the really good food is right on the street, made by women who simmer broth all day long. The street vendors set up shop in store fronts or under tents on the sidewalk and you sit and eat on plastic kids chairs with tiny, uneven tables. As expected, there is a lot of rice and a lot of rice noodles. The most famous dish is phõ and is often eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We already have a favorite phõ stand across the street that we frequent, but we’ve been eating at different places while we’re out.
Of course, occasionally we’ve been craving some western food. We went to a western restaurant on a street frequented by tourists and got a burger. That really cured me of wanting any kind of burger here in Vietnam. The bun was too toasted and hard, the burger toppings consisted of tomato and cucumber, and the burger itself was like meatloaf. It was the strangest burger I’ve ever eaten. Good effort, Vietnam, but I will not fall for your “western” burger again.
Just a warning, most of my postings from now until March will likely be about food since I’m pregnant. Ok, who are we kidding, I love food always.