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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

Covered-Up Cuisine: Dressing Conservatively for Street Eats in Vietnam

Covered-Up Cuisine: Dressing Conservatively for Street Eats in Vietnam

It’s no secret that Deepak and I love Asian food. We’re both from the continent (or subcontinent) in some way, and our adventurous palates and spice preferences dovetail neatly — until my capsaicin yen shoots straight into the stratosphere, of course.

When we're not eating like this ...
When we’re not eating like this …
... or like this ...
… or like this …
... we're usually eating like this.
… we’re usually eating like this.

It’s only fitting that we met at a Japanese restaurant and had our first date at a Korean restaurant. Since then, we’ve sought pungent eats and spicy treats all across L.A., and beyond that, to their very places of origin.

From West L.A., at Little Osaka's Roc Kitchen ...
From West L.A., at Little Osaka’s Roc Kitchen …
Inspired by my surroundings, I'm apparently attempting to get a jump on my "wizened auntie" look here.
Inspired by my surroundings, I’m apparently attempting to get a jump on my “wizened auntie” look here.
... to the hawker centres of Singapore ...
… to the hawker centres of Singapore …

Chiang Mai, Ren & Su Singapore, Hanoi, Maldives Arrival_0599Chiang Mai, Ren & Su Singapore, Hanoi, Maldives Arrival_0603

... to tables on the ground in the middle of an alleyway in Hanoi, Vietnam ...
… to tables on the ground in the middle of an alleyway in Hanoi, Vietnam …
(Shamefully, we still don't know what these words mean.)
(Shamefully, we still don’t know what these words mean.)

Imitating statues -- possibly offensively -- on the streets of Hanoi
Imitating statues — possibly offensively — on the streets of Hanoi

Citing our unfamiliarity with the place and unknowable social conditions, Deepak forced me to wear this highly androgynous getup as we trudged the streets of Vietnam. It’s only because I find the resulting photos hilarious (and because I was raised not to be vain) that I’m splashing these pics of myself going en travestie — à la Cherubino in “The Marriage of Figaro” — through the streets of Southeast Asia.

Be honest, though -- who committed to the statue mimicry better?
Be honest though — who committed to the statue mimicry better?

You can't tell in this picture, but Deepak is wearing a skimpier outfit than I wore in Vietnam.
You can’t tell in this picture, but Deepak is wearing a skimpier outfit than I wore in Vietnam.
This version of me wasn't allowed out for safety reasons.
This version of me wasn’t allowed out for safety reasons.
I wanted to dress up, but Deepak didn't (Mary J.) o-blige.
I wanted to dress up, but Deepak didn’t (Mary J.) o-blige me.
And the peace was maintained.
But the conservative dress allowed for peace to be maintained.


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