Global Journey: Scene VI
Bắt bẻ (overly critical). Keo kiệt (stingy). Hay lý sự (argumentative). Ích kỷ (selfish). Không vui (no fun). Some words used by Southern/Central Vietnamese when I asked them what they thought of Northerners. Some told me that Northerners speak sweetly but on the inside it's all lies. Other folks fear them for their violent ways, citing rampant gang activity in Hải Phòng city. Everyone had something to say about the Northerners, nothing the least bit positive. 35 years after the war's end, bitter feelings remain. Perhaps it's just two different cultures, misunderstanding each other. Either way, looking forward to crossing the D.M.Z. and forming my own opinion. Follow me...
On the way let's stop for lunch in Huế for one of my favorites, cơm hến. Think Korean Bi Bim Bop injected with Southeast Asian Golden Triangle sourced Heroin. Maybe it's the mixture of chilis with the pungency of fermented shrimp paste. Or the way the crispy fried pork skins pop like rice crispies when you spoon the earthy mussel broth on top to soften the rice. Or the paper-thin wisps of banana flower and buttery peanuts that push this bowl to tropical extremes. One bite. Infinite flavors. So now you know.