Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pho better or verse

  Okay - Here we go again.
  Sara and I are hitting the road for three weeks. First off we start in Tasmania then we head north along the 140 degree longitude up to Kota Kinabalu, Borneo and then we end up in Hanoi, Vietnam.

I'll be trying to keep things up to date here.

Recently – like less than a week ago – we were working in Dallas visiting a school (see vid below.) It was a bit of a whirlwind trip – in and out in two days with lots of workshops with students and teachers alike. In order to be kinder and gentler to the schools budget we did not get a rental car on this trip.

This left our dinner options to whatever we could walk to. Well I have this nifty little app on my IPod touch called Yelp which uses the GPS in the device to scan for local whatevers – you can look for restaurants – businesses of any kind – local attractions. So I plugged in the word: Pho. Pho is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup that Sara and I have come to adopt as our out of town comfort food. It warms your belly and fills your soul with noodle-ishness.  Now the correct pronunciation of the word sound more like Feh than Foe – but it is almost never pronounced correctly here in the states and it isn’t worth the effort correcting folks who get it wrong so for the sake of expediency and the title pun of this post we’ll go with the American bastardization and call it Pho – (foe).

Anyway – I typed in the name of the soup and up popped Pho Chau Restaurant a mere .6 miles from our hotel. So we walked to the restaurant, enjoying the 70 degree weather while back home the mercury was looking up at the freezing mark. Well, we were not disappointed – the soup was good, so good we ate dinner there two nights in a row.

The first evening we were the only folks in the place sitting down – a busy carryout business was going on, we were kinda early birding it but the travel had given us an appetite.  Since we were the lone sit down customers the owner came by and began chatting with us. We told him we were headed to Hanoi soon and he told us his story of his escape from the country when he was just 14 years old 25 or so years earlier.

The saga was hair raising, involving smugglers, disappearing companions, traversing jungles at night, hiding in rainforests for two days waiting on a boat bound for Thailand and jumping from said boat and swimming to shore to become a refugee once off the coast Thailand.  Our host told us this harrowing tale with smile and “you do what you gotta do” aplomb.

Sara and I talked about this on the way back to our room. You know, you never really know what the person you’ve just met has been through. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own trials and tribulations – but no matter how bad you think you’ve got it there is someone nearby who has had it worse and is weathering through it with a better attitude.

Here’s my quote – feel free to cite me: “What is truly amazing about life is what we manage to survive.” To which I might add the addendum – “and even more astounding are the folks who persevere with a positive attitude and no extra sense of entitlement for their tribulations” but that’s a bit longwinded and didactic.

Okay – gotta pack my bags.

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