In October of 2019, I will escort 10 excited women to Bangkok, Thailand (The Land of Smiles), Taipei, Taiwan and three cities in Vietnam — Hanoi, Hoi An and Halong Bay!
Experiencing a country’s culture, particularly its food scene gives you a close up glimpse of what the people cherish.
When I visited China in 2005, I really found out what culture shock was all about. Asia was unlike any of my previous travels. Toilet usage, certain spices, Tai Chi in the parks and fresh, fresh fish, Communism and the way the Chinese interface with these facets of their culture are unforgettable.
I suspect Southeast Asia will present to us nuances that will shock us even more.
What’s the use in traveling if you don’t experience and see something diametrically different from your normal.
I was in the process of making tomato 🍅 soup when the thought hit me that life is indeed good. When this revelation came (and I have that revelation often), I could clearly see that it is something special about remaining mindful and in the moment as you complete any task. My taking the steps to create a heartwarming pot of soup wasn’t lost on this point.
I didn’t have a television on nor did I feel compelled to turn on any music. It was just me, a pot, a knife, a spoon, some tomatoes, chicken broth and a picture window in my kitchen that allowed me the blessing of looking onto my backyard as I prepared my dish.
First, I did a rough chop of eight Roma Tomatoes; I diced some fresh garlic (about 3 cloves — I just love garlic) and I slivered about 6 sprigs of fresh basil. I poured the chicken broth into my pot, added everything else and slowly simmered that pot of what was clearly becoming a concoction of deliciousness.
I have to admit that the most exciting part of making my tomato soup is pulling out my hand emulsifier to thicken it. Somehow I feel like a real chef when I use it.
However, the most memorable part of the process was how consciously aware I was of every chop and every stir. The blessing was being present every step of the way. I didn’t hurry through my soup making; I wasn’t thinking ahead about changing the linen on my bed, and I wasn’t thinking about solving any problems at the office. I just lost myself in the task at hand — Making Soup!
AND THAT I’M CONVINCED IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS!