Last Saturday night, renowned chef Miss Belle decided to grant us a huge favour and cooked bún riêu for dinner. And is that sound I’m hearing right now your jaw clanging on the floor, like mine did? Because Holy Vermicelli! There’s a page for bún riêu on Wiki! ENGLISH Wiki at that, too! I did a google, kinda hoping, but not even expecting, to see it on Vietnamese Wiki. But wow! Can you ever stop being amazed by this wonderful creation of the Wacky Wide Web? Seriously, I think the new English medical dictionary, whenever they decide to revise it, should include this new “disorder”: Wikaddiction. Symptoms include the patient’s spending endless hours clicking on one blue word after another, until they forget what topic they were researching on in the first place. Advanced symptoms are recognised when they start to Ctrl-left click instead of merely click, and begin to write their own blogs with embedded links scattered all over the place Wiki-style, with most links being Wiki entries themselves.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, bún riêu, the lesser-known (but in no way less delicious) sibling of phở. (Wikaddiction. Ping!) So at one point, all 5 of us girls were in kitchen, clamouring over each other to, well, spoil the broth. The two guys are in the living room discussing God knows what, but my guess is computers. We can’t help it. It’s an Asian thing. However, it’s important to emphasise that modern (Asian) guys have learnt to be willing to help out with the cooking, even if it’s just the dishes. So listen up young (Asian) guys! Girls don’t care much for your pimped up Nissan 300SX that makes noise like the earth about to crack, that has floor so low that when we squeeze into your back seat, our knees get to go up and have an intimate meeting with our chins. These days your ability to cook, or help in the kitchen, or even pretending to offer assistance, would definitely earn you a tick.
So our two lovely (modern) chaps would pop their heads through the kitchen door every now and again to ask if there was anything they could do. Only to meet with impatient replies from all the layyydies that it’s ok, it’s ok, just go and play in the living room. (Yes we actually did say “play”!) That was not only because there was nothing for them to do — with 4 overly eager sous-chefs, Belle was already finding it hard to concentrate. But it was also because, listen carefully, we are modern girls. And modern girls have long successfully convinced themselves that yes, they can do it all and have it all. Career woman, style icon, AND domestic goddess. And later in life, perfect wife and mother. Ah the phenomenon of the Noughts. And so there, in that kitchen, that small simple kitchen, laid out before your eyes was my draft for a future magnificent break-through research in gender equality in the new decade. Ha ha.
That night I had brought Belle a bouquet of gorgeous orange Asiatic lilies and a new glass vase wrapped in tissue paper. During all the hooha in the kitchen, at one point I noticed the guys talking rather seriously over a pink shoebox, something along the lines of “Yeah… um… yeah… I think it’d work,” but didn’t pay them any notice. Until way later when I searched for the flowers to put in the vase, I noticed this hilarious sight: the shoebox was flipped open, wrapped around by some cling-wrap, popped up on a table, against the wall, so that it served as a makeshift vase!, that contained no water, obviously. The bouquet was carefully placed inside, leaning at the wall.
If you’d been there, you’d have joined me and burst out laughing until we doubled over. And I’m now regretting not taking a photo of the “genius” effort at improvisation. It was just SO CUTE! Not the same kind of cute you get when you stare unblinking at Grant Hackett‘s six-pack until your eyes start to water. But the kind of cute that comes from when your Dad tried to repair an electrical cord. And after 2 hours Mum came in to check on the progress and found that he’d rolled about 200 metres of tape around the joint, and made it look like a huge beehive with a tiny line going right through the middle. The kind of cute that make you think for a split second, perhaps falsely, that men are just as adorably naive and clumsy as children. If it wasn’t for the fact that one of our two friends is married, and the other is like a big brother to us, I’d have rushed over to pat them on the head and kiss them on the cheek, then give each a “Great Job” sticker with a little flower on it so they could whack it on the back of their hands!
And that concludes another session of my endless rambles. You can rest now. 🙂