Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dinner with the neighbours

We live down a small alley, turning off the service road (a smaller road running parallel to the main road) down a steep ramp and weaving around a few tall houses before reaching ours. Our house is at the end of the alley. The alley is no more than a metre and a half wide. The entrance to our neighbours from door is only a metre from ours. They are great.

Anh, the mother, is a kindergarten teacher. She speaks good English and is a godsend to have around because no one else in the area speaks English. Hai is a chef and works late most nights. They have two kids who Celine and I know well. I was Santa at their house recently for 30 odd screaming kids.

They had us over for dinner a few nights ago and invited some of their friends. We had seafood hotpot. It was delicious. Often the Vietnamese will sit on the floor when enjoying a meal. As always when celebrating a meal with friends the Vietnamese drink rice wine. It was our friends Vince and Jules last night in Hanoi before flying back to Sydney. Rice wine is traditionally for the men so Vince and I drank with the other guys. Celine left for work and by the time she returned I was trying to get one of their friends to dance. Vince and Hai were well and truly friendly; arms around each other as they had been friends for years. The rice wine is deadly. This particular one was infused with dead geckos and starfish. Yum!

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