Life starts early in Hanoi

Life in Vietnam starts early.

As I always sleep with open windows I am woken up shortly after 5 am. Because then the street restaurants around start boiling their broths for breakfast soups and the scents creep into my bedroom and nostrils…

At 6am then everyone is on and about. People leave for work on their motorbikes. The housewives start shopping and a mixture of all of them are having breakfast on the street. By 7.30am things are quiet again :)

All I have to do is take the elevator down 4 floors and step out of the narrow building and I am in the middle of life! I love this!

Come and have a look with me this morning:

Today is the day when you sacrifice something to the Buddha for your ancestors. Very popular is this fruit. I have no clue how it is called but it has basically no eat you can eat. It is used for sacrifice at the pagodas because it looks like “Buddha’s fingers”.

The whole side-walks are full with fruit, vegetable meat and other vendors:

This “butchery” here is maybe 3 yards from my entrance…

The seafood is usually sold “still alive” to guaranty freshness…

One significant difference between Vietnamese and Western cooking is that where we would use a few sprigs of parsley or chives or so the Vietnamese would offer heaps of various herbs – and you yourself chose according to your individual liking which ones to use. I appreciate that very much. Also that you most always get some dipping sauce – and additional chillies, garlic and limes to season it further to your individual liking.

This is the restaurant of the lady with the “banh cuon” noodle dish.

She makes the rice noodles on the spot – individually for every portion! Can’t be much fresher :) In fact, the liquid dough is spread on a piece of cotton fabric taut over a frame in a pot and then steamed. Takes about 15 seconds.

The outcome is delicious :)

After such a breakfast you are energised. On the short way home you buy all you need for today’s cooking and then go to work (or take an early nap ;) )

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