Mưa Sớm

Hanoi shop keepers — because their goods spill out onto the sidewalk — have a seemingly infallible sixth sense about when it is going to rain. When you see them putting up their awnings or moving things indoors, take cover because it will rain soon (mưa sớm).

Banh Cuon

Banh cuon are delicate little rice crepes filled with minced pork or shrimp & little bits of a very black mushroom. A plate of these little delights is then topped with a pile of crunchy fried shallots & coriander. Pick them up with your chopsticks, dip in mild salty-sour dipping sauce . . . a perfect light lunch on a hot day. A plate full & a drink will set you back two or three US dollars. Is this paradise? Yes, I think so.


25 below zero in south Colton this morning, but it’s bright & sunny for the first time in a week. I don’t think it ever got this cold last winter. There is a flock of finches parked in the bare maple out the window. small groups of them taking turns diving down to the thistle feeder on the fence.