I celebrate everything with food. Food is the natural follow-up, the obvious supplement to all of life’s joys, sorrows, and monotomy.

When I’m feeling particularly nostalgic for someplace different and far away, which is every single minute of every single day, I escape to DC’s various ethnic hole-in-the-walls. No english, no white people, hearty meals, gargantuan portions, and tiny out-of-pocket prices. Cash only.

 Indeed, such a craving made itself known just before I exited the District for a long time. I quit my job, my work there is done, and I won’t be back until January after I return from my Petersburgian winter epoch, presumably alive. So to celebrate such an occasion, the occasion of seeing something to its end (in this case, another term), my mom and I went to get some vietnamese.

Pho 75 is a solid establishment. $6 for a small bowl (which is actually more than enough), credit cards are forbidden, the staff barely knows a few english utterances. The pho is delicious. I also had the salty lemonade. It was intense. I recommend it.

Behold, a blurry ‘beginning’ photo. It comes with broth, noodles, scallions, onions, and cilantro. For my meats I chose the tendon, eye-of-round, brisket, and flank steak. Step 1: Smell the bowl, appreciate the bowl.

The condiment plate. Mint, jalapeños, lime, and bean sprouts. Be generous.

Step 2: Place aforementioned ingredients into bowl.

Step 3: Cover bowl with sriracha and hoisin sauces, if you want. I typically use so much sriracha, people ask me if I want some soup with my sauce.

Step 4: Begin to eat. Prop up meats and tendons with chopsticks to display for a photo. At this point, my broth turns a luscious, deep red and the flavors have married. I squeeze the life out of the limes and leave them in there whole to suck on them later.

Finish everything, always.

On this day, I let go of huge academic stresses and took on that weight in vietnamese delights. Life is good, always.