Phở Sure!

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If you have never had phở, I feel bad for you, son. Because I grew up in Africa, I did not have the chance to enjoy this wonderful dish until I came back to the US for college. It is, to put it candidly, delicious. Phở is made with a meat broth (I have yet to hear of vegetarian phở), rice noodles, and a variety of meat options. I usually get several different kinds of beef, although I also enjoy chicken, and I once braved tripe. Tripe, to me, was pretty boring flavor-wise and oddly chewy.

When you order phở in a restaurant, you usually have options like hoisin sauce and sriracha for dressing it up as well as bean sprouts, lime wedges, basil, and jalapenos. Everyone seasons their phở to their liking, and it is delicious on a cold day. Shoot, I’ll eat it in the middle of summer too. It’s just that good!

On Monday, we were eating phở with a bunch of my friends, and I paused with my utensils in midair. Will there be phở in Mongolia? Will I be able to find hoisin or sriracha in the stores? It seems a little silly to bring Asian condiments to an Asian country from the US, but…I kind of like having these sauces around the house!

The good news is, Google put the first of my fears to rest within a quick search’s time. According to Google maps, there is a phở place in Ulaanbaatar. Phew! Whether or not I can buy hoisin and sriracha in country remains to be discovered.

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Cold

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Hot dang it’s cold in Seattle these days. Yesterday, we stood in downtown Seattle for many hours so that we could watch the Seahawks Victory Parade. It was a blast, but it was anywhere between 20-30F with lots of wind blowing up from Puget Sound. This morning, when I left my home for the bus, it was ~18F. Let me tell you, my fingers got awfully cold awfully fast.

I feel like this right now. How will it feel next year? (from Depressed Alien)

I feel like this right now. How will it feel next year? (from Depressed Alien)

This is a rather unusual cold snap for the Seattle area because usually February is fairly mild. In fact, a few years ago, I went to a friend’s wedding in mid-February and got away without wearing a jacket or long pants. I wore a sundress and a lace bolero and was perfectly comfortable in the warm sunshine. So February is the tease of spring to come, March and sometimes April are like late winter, and then we have spring-like weather from May-June. All this to say, February should not be this cold, but it is cold and me no likey.

All of that to say that I am growing increasingly worried about how in the world I will be able to survive the cold in Ulaanbaatar next year. As I type this post, the weather in UB is -9F/-23C at 5:30am. I don’t think I’ve ever been in negative degree weather. I grew up in equatorial Africa, and I am only kind of used to the weather here in Seattle, so how in the world do I dress for Mongolian winters? Seriously, I need some help figuring out how to plan for that amount of cold.

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