friday night out

I seem finally to be creating a pattern in my life, and this includes going out for supper with some friends from church on Friday nights.

Last night, we deviated from our usual restaurant choices, which tend to be nicer, more "expensive" places with foreign food. It was up to Ali and me to choose the restaurant last night and we decided to go for something more local. So we settled on a "Bia Hoi Ha Noi" close to our school and Ali's house, which is always packed with Vietnamese. It is in a less touristy area than we sometimes hang out, and we appeared to be the only foreigners there. We decided that, even if the food was terrible or something, it would still be quite a cultural experience...and it was!

The food was not terrible; in contrast, it was quite good. We had fried rice, noodles, eggplant, and the largest bowl of mussels I have ever seen. I think that every server in the place waited on us, because they all loved us. Joel (the only guy with us) was particularly admired by every female server in the restaurant. We gladly posed for their pictures, then took some of our own.

Just before we finished, one of the servers knelt down on the floor beside me. Contrary to what I am beginning to expect in such situations, this was not a marriage proposal; rather, it was him saving the poor foreigners from a rat that was hiding in a crack in the floor by my chair! We were all impressed by--and grateful for!--his ability to catch the rat and throw it out into the street (and away from us).

We caused quite a commotion when we left the restaurant--all the servers waved us off, saying, "See you later!" and watched us walk down the street.

Yeah, we're pretty much famous. We also plan to go again....

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