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What’s going on here? OK, it’s a meal, and we’re eating it on a low table (notice the knee under glass). In a very popular, roughly decorated restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City with rickety tables, ceiling timbers with the bark still on, shaggy bamboo table legs, uneven lighting, and music to suit. It’s VC décor, as in Viet Cong, and tres trendy here; the local crowd is hip; I’m an outlier in dress code. The food is just outtasight wonderful. The rice in its crock pot in a bamboo basket arrives steaming, as do the some-kind-of-greens, much like broccolini; the fish (baked in a broth that’s been reduced to syrupy) is firm-white like our Pollock, with lotsa rough-chopped chives; one of the sauces is mild, the other fiery. We drink tea or Vietnamese beer or a dry white wine, and wonder a bit – stay with me here – about the power of meals/wines/eating/drinking/talking to heal.  — Dun


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