This week I am challenging myself to eat only Vietnamese food for every meal. I am posting daily, detailing my food intake and also occasionally providing you with recipes so you can have a go at some of these simple dishes yourselves. It’s not going to be easy for me; it’s taking me out of my comfort zone as I’ve become used to mainly eating western style food but I’m ready to take this journey over the next 7 days and hopefully inspire some of you to try one of the world’s healthiest cuisines along the way.
There is no such think as a ‘weekend’ in my life in Vietnam. I work seven days a week as a teacher, and my Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest of them all. Tiredness affected my creative thinking today, therefore, after a 30 minute nap I had to go out and grab something quick and easy before my afternoon shift. I was, in all honesty, bored of noodle soup so the next best thing was BBQ chicken with rice. Oh, please don’t think I just went for any BBQ chicken, this place, near my building, does the freshest BBQ chicken I have ever come across in this country. Juicy and succulent and dressed in a light sweet chili marinade, it was polished off in between 10 minute nap intervals over the course of an hour. Sometimes the heat just knackers me right out.
Officially, after eating my lunch I had completed my 7 day challenge (yey for me!), which meant that I could now celebrate in true Jen style. Gareth had made some plans so I celebrated alone. I took a taxi down to district one and went to a posh deli called Annam Gourmet Market, where they have the finest selection of meats and cheeses in all of Vietnam plus all kinds of imported goodies such as Cadbury’s milk chocolate, anchovies, Marmite… No, I’m not pregnant, I just need these things in my life.
My heart raced as I pushed open the large glass doors and peered at all of the elegant English labels. I skipped up the stairs, found a quiet table near the corner, ordered a cappuccino and day dreamed about what was soon to be.
When I had immersed myself long enough in this temple of western gastronomy, I practically inhaled my coffee then scurried along the busy main road to the final destination of the night: Scoozi.
With a name like that, I’m sure you can imagine what’s coming next.
What a coincidence too, that Sunday’s are two for one!*
Forget Pizza Hut. Forget Dominoes. With it’s huge authentic pizza oven and freshly baked Napoli style pizzas, Scoozi is the greatest place on the planet, outside of actual Italy, of course.
So what has this week taught me?
1. Vietnamese people don’t mind eating freaky food.
2. I can happily eat Vietnamese food 5 – 6 days a week, but I also want to eat western food a couple of times a week too.
3. Eating local food is great for saving money.
4. If I’m going to eat Vietnamese food every day then I need to eat little and often – sometimes the hunger pangs get too much.
5. Where there is Vietnamese food, there will be Vietnamese people, and life is so much better when you give them your time and attention.
6. I have a serious pizza addiction.
7. It takes a minimal amount of effort to make major lifestyle changes.
8. Getting out of your comfort zone makes for a much more exciting existence.
9. Vietnamese people love it when you embrace their culture.
10. I LOVE VIETNAMESE FOOD.
What a truly victorious week. I mandate you all now to give yourselves a week to make a slight change to your lifestyle, perhaps even record it as I have to maintain some accountability and build motivation. Where will it take you and how will it transform you?
*But didn’t Gareth bloody well turn up, which meant having to share my pizzas. Harrumph!