Masters of Their Trade

From street level, staring at a cluster of signs and down a long hallway, there's no way to know you're standing in the vestibule of a coffee cathedral.

Yet Giang Cafe is the home of the Vietnamese egg coffee, a beverage ubiquitous throughout Hanoi, but birthed by the family that runs this one, otherwise unremarkable cafe.

Later that day, a cooking class begins with the distribution of recipes for pho and bun cha, and promptly moves forward by ignoring them.

Nothing more than a bamboo pole, a carousel-shaped barb at the end of some line, and quick reflexes stand between a person and the title of squid fisher.

From the tailors and cobblers of Hoi An to the streetside mechanics of Ho Chi Minh City, a trip through Vietnam is a repeated rebuke to any notion of the artisan as mystic.

Earning a living begins with the mastery of your craft. Mastery begins when your craft becomes practical.