Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! Happy lunar new year everyone! I am not a good Vietnamese girl when it comes to celebrating Tet. Honestly, once Tet rolls around, I’m still recovering from the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years trifecta. I can’t handle all the cooking, baking, festivals, and coordinating. Plus, it’s ‘effing winter in New England, which makes everything harder.
But I do try to make some effort, no matter how small. This year, I made banh tet for the first time (at a friend’s house). I’ll also be throwing together a Commune + Soup-er In-laws new year’s feast of pork belly buns, longevity noodles (a noodle dish is required for longevity wishes, which means we’re also calling them immortal noodles), and the aforementioned banh tet. This morning, we also introduced the Soup-er Kids to the tradition of wishing their elders a good new year (in return for a nice red envelope). Soup-er Boy wished me good health (or “no sickness” in his words). And Soup-er Girl wished that I will receive flowers on my birthday. Awww… They each passed the test.
What does the year of the goat (or sheep) have in store for all of us, I wonder? Well, I definitely know what I would wish for:
– No more snow: Really, this is getting ridiculous. The Boston area has been walloped by over 96 inches of snow this winter, with about 80 inches coming during the past 3 weeks. We even had to hire someone to remove all the snow from our roof, fearing a massive avalanche of sharp icicles or interior leaks from the ice dams. I am tired of the snow. I am tired of shoveling. I am tired of feeling like a lab mouse in a maze. And I’m tired of being scared of getting hit by a falling icicle.
– No more cold: It’s been cold, really cold, for really long. Any day we hit 25 F feels like a heat wave. The cold is hurting my wit.
– Happy travels: The Commune + the Soup-er Cousin will be taking our grand trip to Vietnam this spring. In addition to looking forward to the tropical warmth, this will be my first trip back in 15 years and the Soup-er Kids will be meeting their grandfather for the first time. 2.5 weeks, Vietnam from North to South. There will be an overnight stay on a junk in Ha Long Bay, visits to the old Imperial City in Hue, lounging on the beach in Hoi An, and navigating the chaos of Sai Gon. Can’t wait. This is going to be epic–I really don’t ever think anything will be epic, but this trip will be.
– Happy travel eating: No trip would be complete without the food, and the food in Vietnam is going to be awesome. I am so excited for the fruit (mangosteens!), seafood, and yummy regional specialties (bun bo hue!). And pho for breakfast everyday will be heavenly.
– Good health: As we get older, good health becomes ever paramount. I sincerely wish for good health for family and friends. And on the public health front, I hope for an end to both Ebola and measles epidemics. Both are tragic in so very different ways. Sending out the good health vibes…
– World peace: Impossible, I know. But peace in some parts of the world where there is current upheaval would be better than what we have now. Incremental progress is good–though it often feels like 2 steps forward and 1 step back. It’s a dance we have to believe in. For the year of the goat, I’d specifically like to see the end of ISIS and Boko Haram. Can we do that please?
What about all y’all? What do you think the year of the goat will bring?
We are fighting the good fight. Remaining deeply grateful for all that we have, in the face of all that is sad and unsettling and horrifying, is a sign of strength. Taking tremendous pleasure in food and drink bolsters our resolve, n’est-ce pas?