Friday, September 5, 2014

Double blessing

I was doubly blessed today...both unexpected surprises!

The first was a visit from Đạt and Lan. They had been to NPCEC and dropped by before going home.  This time I remembered my camera.

They brought me three great big guavas from their home town.
My second call was from Trung. It was so nice to see him. We went to that gorgeous traditional teahouse I don't know the name of... I think it's called Nam Giao, but I'm really not sure. It's tucked away down a rough dirt lane and you'd never find it by accident!
I went to Trung and Nga's wedding three years ago, and that was my first experience of rural life around here....a memorable time! Since then, they've had a baby girl, and he has been at sea several times. His rank is now Second Officer. While waiting for his next boat, he is studying to upgrade, so he comes to Hải Phòng quite often.

This tea-house has an old-world charm that echoes how I imagine the wealthy lived here hundreds of years ago. The rooms are surrounded by ponds and lush gardens, all hidden from the outside world behind a high wall.  It's so quiet and peaceful.

Trung ordered a special traditional tea for me - Trà Qúy Phi. It came in a covered ceramic bowl, with a teapot of extra hot water. When I lifted the lid I got such a surprise to see the bowl chocka-block full!
Too many different ingredients to even try and identify them all! The red berry looking one is actually a dried apple!  You can eat all the bits...and the broth, the tea is delicious with all those flavours, not bitter at all like green tea served here usually is. I topped up my bowl three times and savoured every mouthful!

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