The entire family (all eight of us) took a trip this morning to Eden Center in Falls Church, Virginia. It takes about an hour, depending on traffic, to get to Eden Center from our house in Odenton, Maryland. This was their second trip and only my first. According to Wikipedia, Eden Center is the largest Vietnamese commercial center on the East Coast.
For the last three months, Josie (my wife) was eyeing a 2-baht gold chain at the Fort Meade base exchange every time she walked into the store. The one on display had a price tag of $6,300. My wife’s aunt, Sarah, told her (over the phone) that she could find less expensive gold chains at Eden Center. Sarah went with them a couple of weeks ago, instead of me, to look around.
Since she’ll only turn 60 once (later this month), I decided to buy Josie a 3-baht gold chain this morning, which cost me a little over $3,600, including tax. Think about that. $2,700 less for something that weighs a third more than the other. I guarantee she won’t be looking at the one at the base exchange anymore.
The sales lady asked Josie if she was “Thai” and Josie said no. I said she was “untie”. Since we were all wearing face masks, I couldn’t tell if the sales lady found any humor in that or not. I certainly did. Joe (my older son) weakly groaned.
Finding the ingredients for popular Filipino dishes can be challenging when there isn’t a nearby Asian market. Even then, it can still be a challenge. Some Asian markets are too small to carry enough of anything. When Josie, Cathy (one of two daughters-in-law) and I were living on the island of Oahu in Hawaii for two years, we only found two decent Asian markets, and both were in the city of Waipahu.
The Vietnamese markets at Eden Center are similar to those in Waipahu. We ended up shopping in two markets, one small and one large, and we found everything we were looking for. Since it’s not nearby, we wouldn’t have made a trip to Eden Center for that reason alone. We could have found what we were looking for by visiting two or three nearby Asian stores (not very nearby, of course).