Before leaving for the airport to begin the 20-hour trip home to the U.S. I made sure to carve out an hour so that I could go have one last bowl of pho (noodle soup) at a popular street cafe in Ha Noi. This little street side joint has been run by the same family for the past 50 years. It probably looks exactly the same as it did in its beginning. And holy moly is the soup good. I don’t know how they make their broth (and I probably don’t want to know) but it’s incredibly flavorful.
Pictured above is Hai, our driver who, like me, is gobbling down a bowl of soup. He and I communed often over a steaming hot bowl of soup while sitting on teeny tiny plastic stools pulled up to a child-sized plastic table. A big bowl of pho (served with fried bread for dipping) costs less than US$1. Sometimes he treated me, sometimes I treated him. It was a very simpatico relationship.
I’m gonna miss communing with Hai over pho. And I’m going to miss Vietnam.