We had a chance to accommodate this couple (Ana and Dmitri) 2 nights in my hometown. They spent 2 months in Vietnam to travel from the South to the North by motorbike and were hosted in many different places.
There are many reasons which made me love this couple. One of them is: they are very health conscious. They are really into healthy food and lifestyle which I have learned a lot from them.
They are almost vegetarian, they don’t eat meat and just have fish one per month or one per two months. For breakfast, they sometimes just have tea and fruits. The first supper*, we cooked soup include water dropwort, garland chrysanthemum and tomatoes intentionally for them but they ate very few.
The next morning we went to Dong Xam silver craft village. The distance was more than 30 kms and I’m really thank them to patiently followed me for that long distance, although upon arrival, the place may not as them expected.
They are very easy-going and easy to feed, just boiled kohlrabi but they enjoyed a lot and said: “Very good. Very good”.
In the afternoon, we went to the public market in my town for them to buy things.
They made salad and stir-fry potatoes afterward. Dmitri said he’s really happy because we consumed their foods. When they cooked in the place of other hosts, the host family ate lots of rice and just got very few food.
To be honest, I’m more impressed about Dmitri. He has a wide knowledge about food, can give a very detail and connected answer, intelligent, has a good sense of humor and a very UNDERSTANDING person. When my brother accidentally dropped an amount of sticky rice out of his bowl, Dmitri said “maybe the rice is still uncooked, that’s why it’s still alive and run out”. It broke the tension by our laughing and cleared the heavy atmosphere.
When we visited our uncle’s home, my aunt offered them Lipton tea but they refused and said they just want Vietnam tea only. A while later, my Mom asked my aunt to give that tea for her. Dmitri said he understand the feeling of my Mom, since he experienced the same, when the other hosts didn’t enjoy their food, and they don’t want to waste the food, so they need to consume a lot. After I interpreted it, everyone laughed.
They were really happy with the Vietnam tea in my uncle’s house. My uncle and aunt worried that they would not be able to sleep and asked me to ask them, and Ana said they aware of it: “I am ready”.
On the way go back to my house, they said the tea made them feel like their minds were opened, they felt everything is better and more positive. I actually really want to experience their feelings. We went to a convenient store near my house for them to find the tea which they like and other stuffs.
They are tea-lovers, the first evening, they asked us to give them some boiled water to make their ginger-calamansi-Russian honey tea. The last morning, they offered us some tea which they put some dried parts from flowers, leaves and roots of trees which they self-made in Russia. Dmitri shared that they research and harvest the parts of trees based on the schedule of the moon. The period of days to harvest flowers is different to harvest leaves and different to harvest roots. Wow, I just wanted to learn more from him.
The next day, they made pancakes and Zucchini fritters, and stir-fry Zucchini. Dmitri said in Russia, pancakes were made to welcome summer, since it looks like sun. We really enjoy their pancakes since they are thin, very thin and delicious. However, Dmitri said he can’t say they are Russian pancakes since they can’t find enough and correct ingredients and tools. They found alternative, but not exact. And they were really happy since we didn’t involve in their cooking so they can make the food by their way and freely experiment.
Random facts about them: (1)They have done 7-days fasting before. (2) They have big luggage which include: tent, blanket, cooking stove, pots, stored foods which are good for them to stay outside at any open space. In Russia, they can stay in some National Parks, but in Vietnam, they aren’t allowed to do it. People ask them to stay in hotels instead, although they tried to explain that they want it, they are safe and have food but it still didn’t work.
I wish them have a great trip ahead and yes, like Ana said: life is just NOW, this MOMENT.