Friday evening for us was a night at the opera.
First, my beau and I headed for a Viet Namese restaurant in town. It was a good choice, for as bad as the restaurant food is where we live, this restaurant was authentic, and the food was very good. We both had a jackfruit boba drink (made with jackfruit and tapicoa). It was the first time we had this drink; jackfruit tasted a little like banana to us. Handsome had bun gao xao cha gio (vermicelli with chicken) and I had bo xao xa ot (beef cooked in hot chili and lemongrass sauce). And, yes, we used chopsticks! The waitress was very nice to teach us how to pronounce the Viet Namese dishes. The food, atmosphere, and service were very good.
After dinner and before the opera, we had a good hour and a half to fill, so we walked around the theater area. There were lots of military out on the town in their dress uniforms, musicians were on the sidewalks playing their guitars and bongo drums, and we even saw Nature Boy – a guy dressed only in very, very skimpy red soccer shorts and gym shoes, and nothing else.
We happened upon a street musician with whom my beau is acquainted, and we talked with him at length. He plays a bass guitar with soulful rhythm and pop! A trio of Marines in their dress uniforms were standing on a corner trying to find a good place to eat downtown, and we tried to help them out, only to realize the better restaurants folded. The Marines echoed our assessment of poor dining establishments, but they settled on some place up the street where the food was not too bad. We bade them good luck, and we then wandered into a tavern to have an icy beer before heading directly to the opera down the street.
The opera we saw was Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella). The story line was a nice change from the Cinderella we think we know – here we had an egotistical stepfather, vain stepsisters, no fairy godmother, and a bracelet instead of glass slippers. And it was funny! The costumes were in the 18th century style: knickers, powdered wigs, and panniers (side hoops under women’s skirts). And did you know this opera was written in 1817?
The opera patrons were interesting. I saw an elderly man with opera glasses, a young man wearing a top hat, a young girl with a very large white silk flower on the right side of her head, and quite a few men in formalwear and women in glittery gowns.
It was a lovely evening.
©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.