Despite the fact that Vietnam is a communist country, many of its people are keen business entrepreneurs who don't miss an opportunity. That's why prices typically skyrocket around Tet as everyone scrambles to purchase goodies for the Lunar New Year celebration. This year, things are a little quiet in the Motherland, just as they are here in the States and elsewhere where the economy has slowed down. (Is there a place where the economy isn't hurt?) See this economic story from Asia Times Online that Simon sent today. People are hurting there as the economy is much more fragile than in more developed places.
I've been feeling down and low-key but it didn't stop me from eating yesterday. Tet is a homey holiday and I stayed put. Rory went for a haircut and I made a small Tet feast for a late lunch. We ate my freshly made banh chung along with lots of our favorite fried foods -- wontons, shrimp, and spring rolls. Tet presents a great excuse to indulge so we did. To lighten things up, we also had some simple pickles and spicy pressed tofu salad and celery tossed with Sichuan peppercorns. The photo at the top was of the lunch-time spread. Oh, there was a bottle of cava too; fried food pairs well with bubbly. It was just the two of us at home for the day and I never turned on the computer. It was quiet, very relaxing and surprising, a really great way to celebrate Tet. It's nice to have a reason to slow down and savor life.
What did you do?
1/28/09 Update: I kept it low-key but Lien Phan in San Diego went all out. She made banh chung, charcuterie (headcheese, cured pork nem), and pork and egg kho cooked in caramel sauce. Lien emailed me a link to photos of her Tet spread. If I lived in San Diego, I'd invited myself over!