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Frayed perfection

Bún Bò Nam Bộ in Hà Nội, Việt Nam.

Bún Bò Nam Bộ in Hà Nội, Việt Nam (New York Times photo).

Maiyet Dress

Maiyet Denim Dress.







This dress seems perfect to me, fitted yet frayed. It reminds me of a jacket I had tailored while living in Việt Nam: a blue jean blazer that shed white strings every time I wore it. Ergo a personal pairing. If good fortune found me back on the streets of Hà Nội, I would wear this Maiyet dress to one of my favorite spots in the city: Bún Bò Nam Bộ, an unassuming street stall serving unimaginable bowls of beef vermicelli – seasoned grilled beef over cold rice noodles, topped with herbs, peanuts and fried shallots, all doused in sugared fish sauce and fresh lime juice. Forgive me a flashback: Within days of my arrival in Hà Nội, with only one dish on the menu, without saying a word (I had none), I sat down at one of the communal tables, and just as I realized I was the only foreigner in the jam-packed joint, a sublime bowl appeared, dissolving my self-consciousness. Mid-bite, a girl sitting beside me introduced herself and offered to teach me chopsticks 1.0 (a year later, I would be in her wedding). How I miss Việt Nam, its cacophony, its candor.  Unpacking memories as I imagine packing for a future trip.


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