So here it is, my first blogpost in the USA! It's taken awhile because there hasn't been widely available internet so bear with me folks. Now when my mum told me a month ago that my cousin owned a Pho restaurant in LA I've been dreaming of a big steaming, tasty bowl of those glorious noodles ever since. It was like a kid on Christmas eve. So naturally the first thing we did when we landed was head straight to Pho hut which was no easy feat as LA is a massive city and public transport is terrible there. After two hours, a bus, train and taxi ride later we had arrived!
Mind you we had never met my cousins before whom are the children of my Aunt 10 on my mother's side. We must have looked like complete bums, coming into their lovely dining establishment with our backpacks but we were greeted so warmly by my cousin Kelly (one of my aunt's 6 children) who was waiting for us and made sure we got what we wanted. The restaurant even had a bubble tea machine which I got to operate, this day can't get any better! Kevin got a cafe sua da which was on his wish list too. My bowl of Pho was gigantic and I would not normally be able to eat such a large portion but I wolfed down that bad boy like it was my last meal.
Kelly then spent the rest of the day taking us around to Hollywood boulevarde and the citywalk at Universal studios which were both touristy but we can say that we've been there now. Then, the final blow of awesomeness "I'm an accountant for Disney so tomorrow if you want I can take you guys to Disneyland for free". I mean, it would be rude to say no right?
But it wasn't just these perks that made me fall in love with my LA family. It was my Aunt's long talks about her past and the wisdom she wanted to share with me, my other cousin's Tien funny jokes and her great sense of kindness to others despite herself having 2 strokes, breast cancer and diabetes, my cousin's children Brian and Crystal who unlike most kids around 21 were really happy to talk to us old folks and took us out to their local hang out for shaved ice and drove us around. My aunt even tried to give us $500 as a present and when we tried to return it and give her a $1000 wad of cash it ended up in an awkward wrestling match between me and my 70 year old aunt. She had me in an arm bar at one point, refusing our gift. Old people are anything if not persistent. Luckily, my cousin showed mercy on my awkward position and took the cash, saying she will keep it til return in 3 weeks for safe keeping so I look forward to another battle then.
In our 4 days here we had all the Asian food we've been dreaming of - pork rolls, banh cuon, pho, yum cha, thit kho, char sui, hainan chicken and so many cups of bubbe tea. I love the Vietnamese community here, they have established themselves well and have their own tv stations, shopping malls and pork roll chains which offer 20 different types of rolls! LA has really allowed me to get back to my roots which is all about food and family. I have implored my LA family to visit us in Australia one day so we can repay them for all their kindness and generosity.
|Tick of approval for American cafe sua da.|
|Nice Vietnamese mall.|
|Pork rolls from Lee's.|