Saturday, September 09, 2006


Nga invited us to her house for dinner tonight. I'd been to that house three times before, when it was the house of other people, and every time I've been there it has rained. Tonight was no exception. The last few days have been rainy and cool with temperatures in the low seventies. This is part of the same system, I guess, that caused mudslides again in the central Mexican state of Puebla, yesterday, burying a highway and killing four travelers.* It's always interesting seeing these same houses filled with new people. Nga's house is in a dip in the mountain above us, and the view from her patio is very nice. Other times I have been to there it has been too cloudy and foggy at that altitude to see the surrounding mountains well, but tonight was an exception to this. Nga's patio is right underneath the giant M shape in the north face of Chipinque--a black monolith backed by the bright desert night. This is what Nga cooked for us: noodles and sticky rice, coconut milk curry, steamed vegetables, grilled shrimp and chicken. At the table, she passed around the rice paper and we rolled our own spring rolls with basil, cilantro, imported cucumbers, lettuce, those noodles, plus the shrimp or chicken depending on the type of food desired. She gave us a short tutorial that really encouraged us (I think I am the only guest with any previous experience doing this--thanks Toune!). She had also made a ginger sauce that was less sweet and more excellent that what I am used to in restaurants. There were seven of us total, and we each ate something like two hundred table-made spring rolls before we were told there was another course. So we kept eating. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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