Hungry in Ho Chi Minh City

Originally published on Livemint · September 30, 2017

I don’t have an aptitude for maps. When I arrive in a new city, my mental compass still in transit, the lines and squiggles on a map give me cold comfort. Unlike those who fearlessly conquer unfamiliar roads, wielding their maps like a weapon, I generally straggle along, searching for a signpost that can set my bearings straight. Usually, that signpost is a street cart. There is no surer consolation than the yeasty aroma of just baked bread, or the smoke rising from meat barbecuing on a rickety roadside stand. No matter how disoriented I am, hitting upon a street stall is usually all it takes to push the reset button.

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