Day 5— the COVID19 monologues, Sai Gon, Viet Nam
I don’t normally eat a great deal of bread, I suppose usually I would consider it more of a treat. Now we can no longer get bread of any kind; Pita, Naan, Chapati, Tortilla, a nice warm crusty baguette, you know that comforting feeling you get from bread, I longed for that, so I had to take matters into my own hands and I decided to bake.
I started small, something called Paninos (not to be confused with Paninis), they were super easy and so delicious they were gone as fast as they were baked. There is something somewhat cathartic about the ceremony of baking bread, and I was already deciding what to make next until the realization that our flour situation was somewhat dire, and with only 2 stores known to be delivering food in our area, we were at the mercy of what they had available.
We decided to try our luck and place an order. It is still a little bit old school here in that people go to the market or shop to buy their shopping; granted, you can have most things delivered, but that comes after you have been and selected your goods. We have a store near us which I consider akin to Whole Foods, or Waitrose; it’s where you go to get special items and treats, not so much for your everyday shop, still, we heard they were delivering, and they are reliable and so it began.
You have to send an email to say you want to place an order and what you want to buy, then someone calls you to ask if you have Whatsapp or Zalo, you say yes and reply with your preferred app and your order again, then there is a frantic back and forth with photos in the store to confirm they are collecting the right thing, and several video calls later our order is completed. They only had wholewheat flour and at a whopping $8 a bag, we just got one (it’s normally around 20cents in the supermarket) and I promised to try to reign in my baking, which translates to — I am planning in my head what I shall bake next.
A few hours later, sure enough, a motorbike pulls up outside, the phone rings, and our shopping order has been successful.
Along with our very premium bag of flour were veggies, salad, and some cans of club soda and beer.
Never have I been so excited to eat a salad and drink a club soda! It’s the simple things, isn’t it?
More social isolation adventures below…