That’s the adorable waffle lady I befriended at the market! One day I stopped by her waffle stand and we ended up having a pretty fun conversation. From then on she would always remember me and I’d also stop by when I have time to say hello. The last time I saw her I told her I was going to leave soon. She asked about America, my sisters, how I could speak Vietnamese so fluently, etc. I found out she’s actually only 26, but she looks older than her actual years.
Almost every morning and afternoon I would walk through the market with my coworkers to grab breakfast and/or lunch. The market is walking distance from the office and I loved walking through all the fresh produce stands. They sold fish, rice, eggs, and just anything you can imagine, including mice (maybe you didn’t imagine that). Yes, mice. The mice is freshly skinned and cut, as if they were fish. Supposedly their meat is really good, but don’t count on me to try that.
I always tend to buy fruits, sữa đậu nành (soymilk) and chè (traditional sweet Vietnamese dessert, beverage, or soup like pudding). Chè can be made with a variety of ingredients, including mung beans, jelly, aloe vera, lotus seeds, seaweed, pandan leaf extract, etc. I tried grapefruit chè (I don’t think they have that in California because I’ve never heard of it) for the first time and it’s pretty delicious.
If you asked me to share one of my favorite memories from Vietnam, it’d definitely have to be grabbing breakfast and/or lunch with the staff and then walking through the market to digest all of our food. Those times were always fun and filled with laughter. It was easy to grab food with everyone because we always stayed in the vicinity and live in the area. We spend so much time together but seriously everyday was a fun day with them.
If the PALS office was not located in Long Xuyên, I don’t think I would’ve ever pinned it on the map as a “go-to” destination because it’s not known as a tourist attraction. It’s the capital city of An Giang province, which is located in the Mekong Delta. I’m so glad I got to live and work in Long Xuyên because it’s less crowded than Saigon and definitely quieter. I wasn’t used to it at first and thought of it as a boring city, but then I began to enjoy the calmness and it was a nice escape from bustling Saigon and the crazy drivers. Long Xuyên is such a cute city and definitely has a very special place in my heart.