Vietnam: Living Like Locals

The whole time we traveled through Vietnam, I would think about The Good Doctor's parents and how they'd react to X, where X = crazy cab rides through Saigon, street food stalls with full intestines on display or fish so freshly caught they were literally jumping out of their plastic tubs onto the ground in front of you, or any number of smells and sights that are unlike anything in the U.S.

And I thought, "They could totally do this. They'd love it. I wish they were here." But what I kept saying to The Good Doctor was, "Oh my God. What do you think your parents would think about X?" "I so wish they were here so I could see their faces when X." "Can you even imagine how white your dad's knuckles would be holding on to this scooter seat?" "They would totally X if they Xed." No, it didn't get old. Not one bit. 

But the one thing I didn't think they'd quite survive, because I barely survived it, was eating dinner on the ground. Not just a quick snack or some popcorn. Full on, 5 course hot meals, all served and eaten on the floor. Why? Because there's no "Wine Country Party Rentals" in 'Nam. At least not for family gatherings. Plus, everyone's totally used to sitting on the ground and eating. And they're all under 5'6." 

It was hard enough for me to sit on the ground and eat hot food in 90 degree humid weather. Picturing The Good Doctor's side of the family, legs crossed Indian style on ceramic tile did seem a bit cruel and unusual.

By the way, yes that is my husband, sitting in the chair above me. He was at the "men and grown ups" table. Sweet baby corn. Only in Vietnam, Mister.

But he did have his turn on the floor as well. Again, sitting with the men, of course. And only the men are offered beer. We womenfolk get iced tea. 

He did well though. It's not easy to fold 6'6" into a small corner and also stuff yourself with food so as to make your hosts happy.

I'm thinking we'll do our next family meal Vietnamese style. You know, to get the in-laws ready for their turn. Maybe Thanksgiving. Picture this: turkey on the floor, separate the sexes, and alcohol for the men only. Fun times!