Diary of an Adventure

Vietnam Adventures

Hanoi

A tad vacant from messed up body-clock. Rocket fuel coffee start

Demanding, rapid strokes of my fingers before the acrylic dries. Conscious I am of the criticism leveled at artists who depict Vietnam as the ‘cutesy’ worker in a conical hat and the village with rice fields. For my painting of the modern Hanoi, scooters, attitude, cell phones. On 50cmx40cm, 335gram linen from Amsterdam, that sultry Vettriano look in my head. Her curves flowing into those of the scooter. Roses added for women’s day and that hint of red for the Vietnamese national colour. White of the Lotus flower.

Terry went to the Hanoi Cooking Centre, and I enjoyed the scrumptious result.

‘Today I went to the Hanoi Cooking Centre to try and orientate ourselves to the food we see – or at least to try and understand the ingredients. A fascinating three hours that left me exhausted and with a stiff neck from listening like a budgie – my head cocked to one side trying to unravel the English from the accent. The cooking processes are much the same. Garlic is garlic and slicing, chopping, frying and marinating are the same in any language. Chili, garlic, ginger, coriander, lime, sugar, fish sauce and salt and pepper are the main ingredients. Rice noodles and rice paper were new to work with – thin and fragile to moisture. 

Meat (in this case chicken thigh) is coarsely butchered with bone splinters lurking. Prawns are halved to go a long way. Pork is sliced very thinly for the same reason. And salads make up the bulk of the meal – lettuce and bamboo shoots and banana-flower slivers marinated in lime water. And of course, rice and noodles to fill one up. And for our carb conscious or diabetics, a roast peanut and sesame seed dry dip (crushed in a pestle and mortar) adds flavour in place of the sweet chili dipping sauce.’

Music on the Beats Pill, with the French Doors of the apartment open to the sounds, and smells, of the street.

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