Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hannibal Rising? and Saigon Bistro

First, how did I miss the fact that the prequel to the Silence of the Lambs is being released on Tuesday??????? How could I miss news of a book publication that important?? Evidently, I did. And, evidently, Hannibal Rising is being released on December 5. So, if Husband is reading, I SO NEED THAT FOR THE PLANE RIDE TO VIETNAM. Also, Greg Iles has a new novel being published on December 12, called True Evil - I'm going to need that one too. And one of my favorite authors, Lisa Carey, recently had a book published, and I totally missed when it happened, but, then I saw it on the library's "new release" shelf, so, I grabbed it and I am now engrossed in Every Visible Thing. (I highly recommend Carey's other three books, The Mermaids Singing, In the Country of the Young and Love in the Asylum. She's a great young author and I hope she keeps writing.) It seems I have been so very wrapped up in adoption issues that I have not been paying attention to publishing news.
______________________________________

Gabe spent the day and night at my dad's house last night (thank goodness, since I have been so sick), but, last night, I started to feel slightly less miserable, and Husband and I went out to a restaurant called Saigon Bistro, which we have been intending to try for months. When we arrived, there was only one other table, but, they were Vietnamese (or at least were Asian people who were speaking Vietnamese with the owner, so, we assumed Vietnamese), so, took that as a good sign of authentic food. We sat down and poured over the menu for a while. The family at the other table left, and one of the waitresses came over to help us. We explained that we would be spending 2 to 3 weeks in Vietnam adopting our four year old daughter and would need to know how to pronounce (or at least read) some dishes we would enjoy. The waitress helping us was a gorgeous teenager who clearly spoke English as her first language, so, she helped us to find some authentic dishes on the menu and then she told us that she was Laotian, and didn't speak any Vietnamese, but, she called the other waitress to come talk to us.

The other waitress, whose name was Tan, was incredibly nice to us, and explained several Vietnamese dishes that she said we could expect to find and that we would probably enjoy. I wrote down Lan's full name on a piece of paper and she pronounced it for us. I had never heard anyone say Lan's name before, and I almost cried I was so grateful for this knowledge. I was relieved to hear that her first name, Lan, is pronoucned as we expected, although I am still not able to say her last name or her middle names, at least I have an idea of how the words sound. We had planned to change Lan's legal name to Lana Sophia Bich Thi W~, but, upon further consideration, we will probably name her Lana Ngo W~.

Tan told us we could bring Lan to the restaurant anytime if we needed help translating what she was trying to tell us, and to "give her a taste of home." Then, we enjoyed a meal of Vietnamese style Egg Rolls (filled with beef instead of shrimp, and which we wrapped lettuce and cilantro around, before dipping in sauce), crab rangoon (admittedly not Vietnamese, and probably not readily available in Vietnam, but, which sounded good to me last night), and beef with flat egg noodles and beef with crispy fried noodles made to look like a birds' nest. Also, we ordered a Mango Boba Tea (this is like a thin mango smoothy with black pearl tapioca in it, served with a huge straw to allow the "black pearls" to pass through the straw). It was good, but, the mango was very very sweet - it almost would have been better mixed with another fruit, maybe pineapple or banana.

We had the restaurant to ourselves until almost the end of our meal, when another couple came in with a small Asian girl (the couple was not Asian.) I kept staring at the little girl - she must have been four or five. I stared and stared at that child and could not help myself. I must have looked like some kind of pervert freak. I wanted to go over and ask if she had been adopted from Vietnam, but, it seemed more likely she had been adopted from China. I know have said this before - I wanted to talk to that couple, but, somehow I couldn't bring myself to. Then, our waitress came back over and started asking us when we would leave for our adoption trip, and what city our daughter was in, and I could tell the woman at the other table was listening in, and she smiled at me as we left. So, hopefully she knows why I was staring and won't continue to think that I am some kind of pervert who stares freakishly at adopted children.

Must go back to bed now (still not feeling 100%)

LM

6 Comments:

Blogger Irshlas said...

What a wonderful evening! I think it's fabulous that the women in the restaurant were so supportive of your wanting to learn more about Vietnamese culture. I found the Vietnamese community VERY welcoming when I lived on the MS Gulf Coast.

I've found that most people of other cultures are thrilled to teach us about their culture if we're willing to make the first move. I'm definitely trying to make contacts with the small Hispanic community we have where we live. I'm hoping it will enrich our son's life once he comes home.

Sunday, December 03, 2006 3:45:00 PM  
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