Friday, October 25, 2013

Hiếu and Hải

Two of my new friends have been looking after me well lately!  Last night Hiếu picked me up and took me out for dinner. 

We went into the city centre and had miến trộn, which literally means vermicelli mix. It's a stir-fry of rice vermicelli with a tasty mixture of meats and vegetables. Every mouthful is something different... but I must admit those slightly oily, skinny noodles were a bit tricky with chopsticks! Hiếu said he hasn't been learning English for long, but you wouldn't know it... his pronunciation is really good and he certainly doesn't speak like a beginner. 

After dinner we came back to a cafe on Văn Cao street for a coffee - well, I had coffee... Hiếu was smart enough to have a yoghurt drink!  I got away with having a late night coffee when I was out with Ba, but last night I blame the coffee for a broken night's sleep. I'll know better next time!  LOL ...  Anyway, Hải joined us after he finished his English class...

Both of them are studying Navigation and will graduate next year. They will need good English skills to ensure good jobs, especially if they want to work for foreign shipping companies. English is the international language used in all ports.  We had a very pleasant evening...what a lovely way to spend a night off!

Then tonight they picked me up again (very few classes this week = lots of social life!).  This time they took me to the large under-cover market in Cat Bi street, where there is a large, popular eating area. 

Again, they introduced me to some food I hadn't had before... this time it was phở cuốn and bánh khọt. 
  phở cuốn

  bánh khọt

Bánh khọt is a rice flour batter with either a prawn or a quail egg and some shallots cooked in little griddle irons... served warm and absolutely delicious. We had sinh tố dừa, a coconut and milk drink that was also a treat.  I am so blessed to have friends who are kind enough to introduce me to all these great local foods. I would never have even known this was here if Hiếu and Hải hadn't invited me tonight.

As we were leaving, Hiếu bought me some bánh đa, a very crisp rice cracker...

After dinner we went back to Hải's room. He has invited a group of friends to his English Club three nights a week so they can get together and practice their English and tonight I got to join them. On the way to his room we went past the Nam Phap Church team busily preparing the decorations for the big party tomorrow night. Then we dropped in to visit Tiên, who was busy editing the movie and adding sub-titles. He had to go off to a Japanese lesson, then was probably going to put in an all-nighter to get it finished.

Hải's friends were a delightful bunch (of course!) and they enthusiastically participated in the discussions. What a great way to practice and learn another language. it is so important to overcome shyness and have a go. And I am absolutely convinced that one of the best ways to improve you own skills is to teach what you know to someone else...

And to think someone asked me the other day if I watch a lot of TV??  hmmm... when??

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