One of my favorite TV shows is “Bizarre Foods”. The host Andrew Zimmern often closes with show with the phrase “If it looks good eat it”. Vietnam offers a smorgasbord of great foods, some Bizarre but that is a personal thing. I am finding myself looking beyond the food and focusing on the people behind it. For example there a thousands of Pho (noodle soup) restaurants in Hanoi, some operated out of peoples homes, sit down restaurants or off the back of someone’s bike. One night I asked who has the best Pho in town, I was directed down the alleyway to 23 Phu Doan, and off I went. When I arrived the address was a service garage, my immediate response was I am lost again, but there were a few people sitting inside so I asked and they said I would have to come back in the morning around 7:00am. They did not speak English but I could tell by their body language they were excited that I was seeking out their Pho. A little bizarre but I had to come back to complete this experience. Meet Ms. Ngo, she has become a legend serving her Pho for many years in a make shift kitchen operating in a local service garage.
You can just see the joy in her eyes, she loves making people happy as her grandkids are by her side helping to prepare the individual bowls for customers.
It’s a family business, from 6:00-9:00am she serves Pho, at 9:00 her son opens his service garage and they all live together in the back of the building. It’s just a way of life here most people live in the back or top floors of their business. When it’s dinner time they set up a table and have a family gathering along with the customers. It becomes more than the best Pho in town when you learn about the people. More photo’s of the Hanoi food and market places….
I would like to close on a totally different subject that is like food that can bring people together from around the world for a common cause. As many of you know I enjoy volunteering for youth sports and have been involved with Little League baseball for the past 25years. For the past 3 years I have volunteered at the Intermediate Little League World Series in Livermore CA. The event started today and will run through next Sunday August 7th. I wore my LLWS shirt this weekend and many people asked about my interest in baseball, which gave me the opportunity to tell them all about the LLWS. It’s a great event, go out and enjoy some great baseball. If you don’t live in the area you can catch the final game next Sunday on ESPN. This morning I was able to catch one game via the live feed on the website http://www.intermediateworldseries.org. I felt honored when Rick the broadcast announcer gave me a shout out for participating from Vietnam. Thanks Rick, Dave,Bill and the rest of the crew I will tuning in for more.. late at night or early in the morning……go D57.