Ciao, blog family! Fun fact: ciao is how people say hello in Vietnamese! From what I experienced, a lot of locals are more abrasive and say, “Ay!”
Anyhow, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted another recap of my trip to Vietnam, but don’t worry, they are ready and they are coming your way shortly! I prefer not to structure my documentation a whole, repetitive slew of pictures and descriptions all at once, because I’m just one of those people that gets bored easily. You have to change things up, you know? But that’s just me, and you will still be getting your weekly dose of posts with both Vietnam and other content.
Besides, a getaway a day keeps the doctor away! Well, I don’t know if looking at pictures of another country on a screen is quite the same as actually visiting someplace new. But for me, it does the job. I miss Vietnam already!
This morning, I woke up at the earliest I’ve ever did in the longest time–5:30 A.M.! That’s why in the video, there is a dark shot of the morning because I beat the sun! To kill some time, I sneaked in an hour-long bodyweight workout that actually went insanely well! I was sweating like crazy, but that may have also been due to the extreme heat! Either way, I felt amazing afterwards, and was so excited to hit the road afterwards!
Breakfast ended up being vegan take-out goodies that included salted braised mushrooms, vegan pork, tomatoes, cucumbers, tofu vermicelli noodles, a tofu frittata with onions and noodles, jicama, carrots, and green onions over broken rice! Unpictured is some stir-fried eggplant that I ate along with my family at a restaurant they had their food, which was broken rice and meat. The vegan pork tasted crazily realistic, but I think they just fell short from the salted braised mushrooms, which are–NO KIDDING–the best mushrooms I have ever tasted in my life. Now, I will not enjoy mushrooms as much any other way! And I couldn’t believe the tofu frittata. It tasted so delicious that it was shocking!
On the way to the herbal medicine temple that we were visiting for my sister’s senior project, I snacked on some apple bananas that tasted like mini plantains! I’m absolutely obsessed with the texture and the flavor. It’s not too sweet and it’s pretty doughey! Sounds weird, but you’ll understand once you try it!
Shortly, we reached the beautiful temple and got to take a gander inside the herbal medicine farm! It was breathtaking to see the way the plants were laid out to sun-dry. The way they were organized created the most stunning layout!
Underneath a roof were the volunteers and workers who spend hours cutting off undesirable components to preserve the healing plants! Screens were used to separate certain work spaces so that little particles wouldn’t fly all across the floor. It was very intriguing to visit a work center that held such a calming, holistic atmosphere. Interestingly, there was a synchronicity that aligned with my energy flow, and I felt very comfortable here, as if I could see myself working here in the future, or I already worked here in a past life or so. Isn’t it wonderful to experience these sensations that explore your inner self?
My mother met two retired professors who volunteer here and are both vegetarians! While they were interviewed for my sister’s project, I was mesmerized while watching them cut the leaves.
Watching everyone work was a true marvel. It’s amazing to see that there are such a wide variety of herbs, spices, stalks, roots, barks, stems, and leaves that are used for medicinal purposes, such as soothing sore throats, healing stomach ulcers, or even beating cancer!
It was unbelievable to feel so comfortable in a more second-world environment because I’ve always downplayed my abilities to survive in the wilderness or anywhere without modern technology. Even though I feel drawn to nature, I still feel the best in more industrialized locations, such as New York, Los Angeles, London, Seattle, etc. However, I love hands-on work, especially if it involves raw material, and working for an industry that caters to a positive cause. In this case, healing with natural remedies!
Afterwards, we drove to the Ben Thanh market for some food and shopping! Eh, I wasn’t a big fan of the cloudy, stuffy, noisy, and aggressive atmosphere. Ben Thanh is known for attracting tourists and all, but the touchiness of the culture isn’t something I’m used to–if anything, the physical contact just made me feel more anxious. While I think it is a nice place to explore, I wouldn’t visit again.
Lunchtime was fabulous, though! I ordered two rounds of spring rolls loaded with mint, carrots, jicama, soy chicken, vermicelli noodles, and leeks! The first order came with a side of peanut sauce and lettuce! I couldn’t eat the lettuce because it was washed in dirty tap water. However, the spring rolls were wonderfully refreshing!
Here’s round two!
Right before returning home, we spent time at a mall to window shop. My favorite store ended up being this book store that had some Buddhist literature. In particular, I loved this book on the philosophy of food written by Thich Nhat Hanh. I had to take a picture of these quotes as a reminder to be more mindful and grateful of nutrition!
Once we all returned home, I ended up playing a board game with my cousin and sisters that practically destroyed our relationships. It was way too frustrating for us to handle! Luckily, our madness ended when we were called down for dinner. My meal ended up being the most deliciously fried lemongrass tofu that I paired with butter lettuce and cucumbers! The tofu was so perfectly crispy and flavorful that I ate all of the tofu I was served, which was around twelve of these pieces, and I probably ate an entire head’s worth of butter lettuce!
Then, we were further spoiled by our housekeepers with the most delicious tomato and bean sprout sour soup! As always, this was the perfect way to warm the night before bed. I ended up having three bowls!
Where do you see yourself working in the future? Do you favor visiting local places or tourist locations while abroad?