Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Revisiting Tiên's Home

Today, Tiên took us to visit his family home again. This time Tuấn Anh, Thảo and Công came too and we had another great day...  

When we got there, Tiên's mum, Hứ was preparing lunch, and Công jumped in to help.

Once again we enjoyed a delicious meal.

After lunch most of us had a nap, but Tuấn Anh and Công did some fishing.

They caught a few small fish, so we headed out with the bucket of fish into the rice fields to hunt up some mice for a barbque!!!

Mouse holes weren't hard to find, but it was a pretty half-hearted, unsuccessful attempt to actually catch any... Neither Katie nor I were disappointed in the slightest  haha.

All around us, farmers were working - hand watering their crops and harvesting. 

These fields are farmed by Tiên's mum, and the rice crop was harvested a couple of weeks ago, so the soil is now dry and the plants are stubble. After giving up on the mouse hunt, the guys gathered some dry rice grass and got a fire going and the biggest fish was skewered on a green stick and held directly in the flames.

Some sweet potatoes were also added to the fire and extra grass was continually added to feed the flames. I must admit I was very skeptical that there would be enough heat to effectively cook either the fish or the sweet potato... but of course, Tiên has been doing this since he was a child, and knew exactly what he was doing.  The fish looked charred and unappetising, but the flesh was sweet and succulent ...a very pleasant surprise!

One of the smaller fish fell off it's stick and got lost in the fire, so the rest were set free in the channel next to us.  Then the fire was kept going till the sweet potatoes were cooked.

... so good!!! ...

While we were eating, Hứ came to water the vegetables she had growing nearby.
She uses the cup on the end of the bamboo stick to scoop water from the water channel up onto the crops, just like the man watering his corn crop was doing... a simple and efficient method that requires no sophisticated equipment. I imagine this technique has been in use for hundreds of years...

After our barbque feast, we headed back to the house. This vegetable tastes like celery. There was a thick patch of it next to the path.

When we got back to the house, several of Hứ's friends stopped by to say hello.

This lady was especially curious and had a wonderful time exclaiming over the my size...particuarly the size of my legs compared to hers (and of course, she is a tiny little thing, not much bigger than Jordan...). Before long I had half a dozen excited ladies gathered around me... Thảo came over to help by translating, but she was frequently too polite to tell me what was being said. I was the first foreigner they'd seen up close and just about everything about me is different!

While the comments and comparisons continued even after we moved into the courtyard, Tuấn Anh, Thảo and Công took my camera back to the rice fields to take a few shots...

Anh with Phương Linh

All too soon, it was time to go home...but this time I kept my camera out and kept taking photos along the way...

Just on dusk,  the back tyre on Tiên's bike went flat just near the new superhighway under construction. So we diverted to a little bike repair shop on the side of the road.

That's it down there on the right.

While the tyre was being repaired, the guys climbed up onto the new road.

It was nearly dark by the time we were ready to roll again...

What a wonderful day....can't wait to go back again!

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