This weekend was completely uneventful. We each taught small, sticky children for an interminable amount of time. Gavin and I had four dollars to make it through four days due to some banking issues and instead of borrowing money we resorted to strict austerity measures. We ate in for almost every meal and slowly decimated our entire food stock. A brief session of poverty led to a burst of creativity in the kitchen. I spiced up some insipid instant noodles with boiled sweet potato chunks, hot peppers, silken tofu and spices. Yum!
I also made several stir-fries with egg noodles, bok choy, tofu, zucchini, cabbage, carrots, and hot chili peppers.
Yesterday we finally were able to withdraw money from our accounts, so we splurged on a nice lunch. We dined at My Son on Ky Dong Street in District 3. This restaurant serves a special noodle dish (Mi Quang) with your choice of meat. Gavin went for the Mi Quang Tom Thit (noodles with shrimp and pork) while I chose to go with just pork. Before our noodle bowls arrived, we were brought crispy rice chips, small dishes of spicy fish sauce, and an assortment of greens to add to our bowls. It was the strongest fish sauce I have tasted yet, but was tasty.
Our noodle bowls finally arrived and we were delighted by their taste and presentation. The bowl had a bit of broth, flat rice noodles, peanuts and peppers, covered with succulent bites of pork. The pork tasted as though it had been stewed all day and had a Mexican flavor about it (think carnitas burrito); it flaked right off the bone and fell apart in your mouth. Perfect!
After lunch, we headed across the street for some frozen yogurt at Yobana. Walking into Yobana was like walking into a plastic futurescape. Tokyo in the roaring eighties comes to mind. The shop was full of translucent neon plastic furniture, aloof teens, and oversized cushions. To add to its otherworldly ambiance, the shop is self-service and stainless-steel robots spew the yogurt into your personal receptacle. An over-enthusiastic sales girl walked Gavin and I through the line, guiding us through our mystical lactose journey by describing in detail exotic flavors such as chocolate and strawberry and strange toppings like sprinkles and maraschino cherries. We ended up with heaping cups of overpriced, soft serve. After devouring his cup in seconds, Gavin announced he would never return to Yobana while still alive, but I beg to differ. I think I might throw myself a birthday party there.