Dinner and a show: Hanoï style

Along with people watching, taking cooking classes abroad is one of our favorite things to do. Rose, our instructor, took us to her home in a small suburb of Hanoï. We walked to the local market, which was the first time we saw a ‘drive thru’ farmer’s market. Many of the shoppers idled their motorbikes as they picked out their evening ingredients. There were plenty of pedestrian shoppers too. We returned to the kitchen, donned aprons and made several dishes including fried spring rolls with a kumquat dipping sauce, green mango and carrot salad and tofu with tomato sauce. Dessert was fresh fruit. It was all delicious.

What better way to end an evening than to go to a live performance? An ancient folk tradition in Hanoï is a water puppet show. We went to the Thang Long Theater to watch this unusual art form. The wooden puppets move above waist deep water. They are accompanied by skilled, costumed and incredibly loud musicians (we brought earplugs). Although the show is entirely in Vietnamese, the folk stories are entertaining and enjoyable.

The final touch, a heart-filled coffee to end a wonderful day.

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