Midnight Snacks in Vietnam

By Dave Fox
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

It’s 2 a.m. here in Saigon, and just 10 minutes ago, I watched four ladies show up in front of a crowded Internet cafe with two massive pots of food and about six plastic stools. Within two minutes, they had set up a makeshift restaurant in the street.

Food vendors are all over this city. If there are tables and chairs at all, they are generally made of plastic, and rising just about 12 inches off the pavement. You have to be careful not to get knee hair in your food.

Street food generally scares me after a traumatic salad attack I endured in Turkey years ago that landed me in the hospital, but Nigel, a British guy working here as an English teacher, promised me it wouldn’t kill me at one particular place. And I certainly couldn’t argue for the price — a barbecued pork chop and a massive plate of steamed rice cost me 9,000 đông, which, at today’s exchange rate, is 56 US cents.

If I do keel over dead and this is my last post, it is probably the pork chop’s fault. Or feel free to blame Nigel. It was rather tasty, however, and I can think of much worse causes of death than tasty food.

Unless you happen to be the pork chop.

Published on Thursday, April 17, 2008

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