Today I’m dedicating this post to a beloved foodie, whom I met during the first week of my freshman year in the high school cafeteria. This was where a large group of friends from various junior highs gathered on plastic & wooden tables, eating terrible public school lunches. I was the only one in the group that came from a private school who knew absolutely no one in my grade, yet I was welcomed to sit with them. While the group was very large, we had pockets of mini cliques. One of those cliques was a group of four: Kim, Viviane, Vy, & me. We had similar schedules, so we walked over to Vy’s house after school, waiting to get picked up by our parents. While we waited, we often made instant noodles & gushed over our attractive schoolmates, The OC, & celebrity gossip. We formed our own little girls clubhouse on Clubhouse Lane, bonding, laughing, & slurping complex carbohydrates. We called ourselves The Fatty 4 & dubbed our after school dates Noodle Parties.
As we got older, one by one, we obtained licenses to drive, which meant branching out beyond the realm of instant noodles. We ate sushi, shabu, Thai, Mexican, seafood, everything – we just ate everything. We almost always gathered at a restaurant to catch up & feed our bellies. We had a lot in common, but were also vastly different. We shared an ethnic heritage, an understanding of Vietnamese immigrant culture, but above all, we shared voracious appetites. We were foils of one another: Vy & I were more adept at planning while Kim & Viviane were much more spontaneous. Vy & I knew we wanted marriage & kids way down the road, while Kim & Viviane debated whether they could handle the commitment. Kim & Viviane were more likely to be the life of the party, while Vy & I approached others with caution. While we had many differences, ups & downs, we always reveled over great food & company. We had an appetite for adventure & ate & tried new food all the time. While I couldn’t tell you what Kim’s ultimate favorite food was, I can tell you that she certainly loved noodles, seafood, meat, & her vegetables…so pretty much everything.