Monday, June 8, 2009

Reverse Culture Shock #3

(PICTURE: It is a rarity to eat a meal or a snack out of a can or a box in Vietnam.)

As I just finished my cold bowl of cereal, I find myself reflecting back to my daily morning breakfasts in Vietnam. I miss my hot bowl of pho and my warm sticky rice. I miss Banh Gio and my tofu with bun noodles. I even miss eating the half developed duck eggs in broth.

In fact, I'm really missing Vietnamese food in general. For one, I love the taste and variety of Vietnamese food. Secondly, everything in Vietnam (minus the globs of fat on pork) just feels healthier. So many things we eat in America are processed or grown with pesticides. I'm pretty sure in the month I've been home I've eaten more things out of cans than I did in 15 months abroad. Also produce is just so much bigger here. Every piece of fruit I eat in America is about twice as big as its Vietnamese cousin. I'm not a farmer (although I do love gardening) but I'm pretty sure fruits and vegetables aren't bigger here just because mother nature wants it that way.

All of that said, perhaps I just miss the food in Vietnam because I've gained a couple of pounds since I came home. In fact, Huyen called me fat the other night on skype! But on the other hand, perhaps I've only gained a few pounds because of a cuisine in America that Vietnam can't compete with -- my mom's home cooking.