This guy was intense. He was stirring that pot so vigorously you could hear the sound of metal scraping against metal even above the traffic and chatter of busy Vinh Khanh Street. Stockily built with arms like pistons, he was putting every ounce of muscle power into coating those crab claws with chili.
I asked if I could video him while he worked. Without pausing or saying a word, he looked at me for a second before turning back to his pot. He didn’t say no or offer any kind of protest so I took the cap off my Canon and started filming anyway. Using a metal cooking spoon, he stirred and tossed that pot into a red hot mess of claws and chili that looked every bit as violent as it did spicy. When he was satisfied, he poured the contents onto a plate, which the waitress quickly took away to a waiting table. Only when I played back the video for him did he manage the slightest hint of a smile, before moving on to the next batch.
That steady flow of seafood and activity…