In case you haven’t yet caught on, ‘Live & Let Live’ is the theme of summer 2014; the (recurring) motto being you’ll sleep when you’re dead.
As if my European excursions were not enough to satiate, I spent several days at home before repacking my travel-sized items and hopping on a bus to spend quality family time with my sister, Stef and cousins, Chi Tam* and Pratap.
*”Chi” is Vietnamese to indicate an older, but not elderly, female.
If there is one lesson I am repeatedly taught by this loving triad, it’s not only that life is meant to be lived, but lived well. I spend so much of my time falling into my gym-work-grocery shopping routine that I forget to appreciate my body, be grateful for my job, and savor the food I cook. Whenever I’ve made a weekend getaway to Baltimore, Annapolis, and now, Boston, Stef, Chi Tam, and Pratap enjoy the simple offerings of life so effortlessly that I honestly wonder why it’s so difficult for me to do!
It is so unfortunate that July 4th – my absolute favorite holiday – was spent dodging rain droplets. Instead of your standard all-American BBQ chock full of burgers, bikinis, and beer, this family took things a little more on the casual side (read, lush comforter, samosas, and movie day).
Stef, Chi Tam and I scoured Yelp for any and all establishments that could feed us on a holiday afternoon, coming to our usual conclusion: when in doubt, Asian food. Eventually, Chi Tam took us to Kaju, a tofu house, where, as per usual, we ordered way too much food and left with the happiest of bellies.
Our spread consisted of bulgogi noodles, Korean spare ribs, sweet and spicy chicken (the BEST item on our table), and two tofu bowls: curry/ tofu and clam/ tofu. Let me just say, WHAT a sensory experience!! Everything was absolutely delicious, and despite having a short amount of time to consume it all (read, Chi Tam had a meeting to make), we ladies did some work.
After being dropped at home, Stef and I did some furniture rearranging (read, dragged the mattress we were sleeping on in front of the TV) and she introduced me to the English-French film, The Intouchables. For all of those who have yet to watch this film, watch it.
The best description I can give you is to explain the title. In French, the movie is called, “Les Intouchables” – its literal translation being ‘The Untouchables.’ As a way to differentiate it from historical crime fighters, we are presented with a play on words, “The Intouchables,” to illustrate the English-French hybrid theme. It is a story about two men from different – untouchable – worlds, and their relationship with one another. Spoken entirely in French, their funny and heartwarming story is artfully told through English subtitles. Perfect for a rainy day, or any day, especially when enjoyed with samosas, and followed by a lovely home-cooked meal of arugula salad, roasted thyme potatoes, and lamb chops.
The rain monsoon continued to come down relentlessly on our nation’s birthday; still, I was beyond content among family and the incredibly fluffy comforter wrapped around me.