It’s a warm and lovely sunny day after a heavy rain last night. I am in isolation because Ho Chi Minh City is in COVID lockdown. Loneliness surrounds me as I feel the walls at home keeping me isolated. But after 4 long months of lockdown, I get to leave my apartment.
I Sat on the benches in the park nearby my place after a walk and watched every single movement around me. It is an awesome feeling I haven’t experienced for a while.
I embrace and love this moment, being totally immersed with the nature – looking at each ray of sunshine going through the foliage – and realize that human connection through social activities is coming soon! I suddenly whisper to myself: “great life.”
While in lockdown, we always cheer each other up by asking questions about the future: “What would you like to do after pandemic?” The answer could be travel to places, meetup with friends, or eat a favorite dish… I always think about what meal I will eat. Taste is powerful. There are a tons of dishes that remind people about their childhood no matter where they are on this earth. It is strange that the familiar tastes can be so far away during lockdown.
Now, I finally am able to leave lockdown. It is no surprise that the first thing I do on this sunny morning day is go to my familiar local food shop and sit at my favorite table. I boldly order a big bowl of “phở tái chín”, pho broth mixed with beef steak cooked medium rare.
The unmistakable taste of this warm bowl of pho truly make me feel alive – I can’t describe how much I appreciate the spices, meat, and vegetables. One more reason for me to appreciate this is I can’t cook this traditional food and I assume most young Vietnamese people are the same as me. Vietnam is changing quickly and life moves fast. We have same routine in every morning: wake up – get up and go to work. On the way to work we buy pho at the local shop to save time and energy.
Among a tons of dishes, pho is the most common food in Vietnam. You can easily find it at fancy restaurants, in food courts, or even hidden at the end of quiet alley somewhere with the acceptable price 40.000 VND (2$). That is how I start my day – with the sweet taste of this “pho” 😀
My Do Thui