Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hotpot Blog #2 (Sandy)


At the Vietcombank ATM, my First Niagara checking account balance was in Vietnamese dong ... and I am Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, and Oprah all in one! (20,000 VNese dong to one dollar.)
Walked out of the $15 a-night hotel, took a left, and saw my laundry drying on the clothesline next to the street.

"Party animal" is not the same as "animal party."

Very bald tires. Very.

KFC in Coop Mart near the school. Yes, KFC.

The "Saigon bread" baguettes that should be sogging in the outdoor sauna buit that never do.

Dragon-shaped topiary at Nguyen Trung Truc temple. Pass the camera.

Kung Fu Panda in 3-D is in town.

Steak and egg breakfast is served sizzling on a cast iron plate in the shape of a cow -- one cow plate per person.

Boyfriend #1 is Mr. AC, and boyfriend #2 is Mr. Hot Water (even in a $15/night hotel).

Rumble strips that everybody ignores.

I still hear the same rooster that has been following me for years, every time I get here.

There may be something to this: know how someone sings karaoke, and you know who they are. Some prefer sad-sounding ballads, and others prefer snazzy finger-popping songs. One person sings with a microphone in one hand and a mug of Tiger beer (complete with chunk of ice in it) in the other. The one thing it has in common: it is all loud. There are no soft, quiet songs in the karaoke repertoire. None! And it happens while people are finishing dinner, so attention need not be paid, really, but there is no way you cannot hear it.

And then: a stop at a coffee shop to hang out for a while around a table for four, to check email and play with the iPad, to get caught up on even more news -- to sit around in a public place with your friends, with people some of whom you wish you knew better -- all while you slide your shoes off and make yourself at home.

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