Europe trip – Paris

We’re having a two-week vacation in Europe. Our first stop is Paris and this is our fourth day here. I didn’t bring my computer so I’ll just quickly jot down some updates.

– The weather is really cold, or maybe it just feels cold because we walk outside for ten hours straight (25 km) everyday. The plus side is that we get to enjoy a quiet Paris and that there’s no line to our favorite bakery.

– On the second day here Craig said he craved a bowl of pho. It flattered me that my American husband dreamt of Vietnamese food when visiting Paris.

– Most shops and restaurants are closed today (it’s Sunday). I expected that but was still upset to find out that even bathrooms in malls are closed. We were taking a miserable walk home after a failed attempt for breakfast when we ran into a farmer’s market with an authentic Vietnamese food stand. We had some of the best crispy fried spring rolls we’d ever had, and Craig got to show off his Vietnamese to the Vietnamese-French sellers.

– Last night I met up with my high school roommate (I went to boarding school) whom I hadn’t met for twelve years. Twelve years ago, we were eating half-hedged eggs in a small room in a small Northern town of Vietnam. Last night we were eating Josselin crepes in Paris. Life is good!

I didn’t bring my camera since I wanted to have a real vacation, meaning not having to focus on or making a fuzz about taking good, high resolution pictures. Below are some random iPhone snaps if you’re interested.

I think I have a thing for statues. I can stare at them all day.

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Butternut Squash & Salmon Cháo

*There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post.

Salmon porridge_Vietnamese food_Indiechine blog

The weather in Hoi An has been so beyond perfect lately. It’s the kind of sunshine and breezes that are so delightful that it brings me instant joy just by looking out the window. Craig says this weather reminds him of beautiful early summer days when he was in high school in Kentucky. He remembers the soft sunshine on his front porch, the irresistible smell of barbecue in warm breezes that his father was grilling on a lovely Sunday evening. It’s interesting how similarities in temperature and humidity can bring back vivid memories from years and years ago.
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Vietnamese banana blossom salad

Banana blossom salad_Vietnamese cuisine_Indiechine-2

Everybody knows each other in the small local market near my house, and the sellers there know not only me but also my husband. It must be difficult for them not to remember us – I speak Vietnamese with a Northern accent and my husband is an American who’s too tall to walk under the low bamboo roof in the market.
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