Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ten more pics of Life in Vietnam....


....sorry 'bout this - been quite busy. Being one of a small number of English teachers in Hai Phong (and being one of a tiny number [like, meebee three] of English teachers from The U.S.A.), AND helping a friend negotiate the minefield that comes with attempting to obtain an F-1 study visa for a major university in The States.....well.....ain't hadda whole lotta time to myself recently.....

But tell me that the TIMING of this doesn't reek of conspiracy?

Yeah....rape and molestation....I'm sooo sure....I'm just thinking that an "accident" woulda looked a bit TOO odd, so they went this route with Assange.

I guess the thing that reeeaaallly pisses me off is that I thought that The Swedes were ABOVE tolerating bullying and intimidation from external sources........guess not......

[NOTE - Apparently, Sweden DID pull the warrant today (22 August 2010)......but WHOEVER is behind that bullshit (and I gotta pretty good idea) did succeed in tarnishing Assange's name.....but kudos to Sweden for realising what a farce this entire thing was]



Anyway, ten pics -








































Now, if there's one thing that I learned, when you live in a household with a Vietnamese wife and her mother comes over three times a day to prepare her meals (because my wife was preggers at the time), you should never be surprised at what you find in your freezer. Although, I don't think the gecko was frozen for use later as a side dish or anything....but T.I.V. - so ya never know.....

Errrmm......still can't figger out HOW the hell it got in there....maybe it was trying to sell my mother-in-law car insurance in an annoying British accent, and just wouldn't shut the hell up, so she froze it right when it got to the part of saving 15% (or more).......






































My buddy Michael The Nigerian had a birthday party for his daughter Teresa (pictured above on her first birthday). Scary when you get kids and you suddenly find yourself going to these sorts of things! But it was a lot of fun.....and had good beer and delicious Filipino food ('cause his girlfriend is from The Philippines), soooo........








































Got bored with life in Hai Phong and heard that a hurricane was gonna hit the region. Well, shit gets reeeaaaalllly dull in Hai Phong, so I studied meteorological charts and predicted that the eye would pass over the Vietnamese coast near a town called Thai Binh....about 80 miles South of Hai Phong. So, hopped on my skooter and I went to that point......and saw a buncha structures on stilts....it was kinda weird....kinda like I was in a movie. Walked up to one, and discovered that it was a cafe....so I sat down and had beers with a few locals. Looked out over the water, and saw an eerie aquascape.....these weird little fishing huts that people go up in at low tide and hang out in all day and fish at high tide. Looked suspiciously like Imperial Walking Tanks to me, though......

....then, an SUV with a TV crew drives up to the cafe and tries to interview me. I couldn't take pics of them because I was using the Phone/Camera to put my wife on speakerfone to translate for this camera team.

Apparently, somebody told them that there was this crazy American that rode on his skooter 80 miles all the way from Hai Phong to be in the center of the hurricane! Riding 80 miles on a skooter is news enuff around these here parts, but when they found out WHY I went to their coastal village ("Đông Châu" is the name of the place)...well, shit - I could just see their Channel 7 Eyewitness News: "Topping tonight's Eyewitness News at 6 - Deranged Tay rides skooter into Hurricane at Đông Châu! For more on this story, let's go to Long Duc Dong live at the beach!! Donger - whaddya got for us.....?"

Shortly thereafter, a man in an olive green uniform pulled up and I got the idea that he wasn't stopping in for beers.....but that he was military and he was advising people ta git the hell outta there....

....went inland about ten miles and grabbed a hotel room in a tiny hamlet. By the time it hit the coast where I was, it had weakened into a tropical storm but was still pretty fierce. The power went out, but the hotel had a generator and kept the juice on in the lobby. I hung out with a few Chinese guys who worked at a nearby factory as contractors and got drunk with 'em....was fun!























And, on the ride home the next day - rode through another small hamlet and saw two goats just randomly milling about on the sidewalk......em-hum....see that all the time in Portland, right?






















Was hanging out at home on boring afternoon, when I began to smell this nasty, acrid smokey smell. Then, the power got cut! So, walked outside to see some people milling about out in the street and there is a house on the main street (Nguyen Duc Canh Street....not in my little "gated community") with smoke coming from it. "Shit!!" I thought to myself, and began to panic because there might be people inside!! But I laid back (not much I could do anyways) because, thank God, I heard sirens coming in the distance!

And then, I wasn't sure if there was a fire engine pulling up ready to do battle with the blazes....or if it was one of those weird old historical parades that they have in small towns in the U.S.A.!!?!!?! I mean, fuck - talk about a museum piece.....felt bad for those guys....and it didn't look like they had 1970's standard safety equipment on either!

Thankfully, nobody was harmed during this fire.....and the house was demolished and is being rebuilt as I type this!!





















Picture of Tam, doing lesson prep wearing my shirt.....no reason - just thought that I'd throw this pic in there......






















And, finally, a pic of my daughter, way back when during much happier times in her life (like, yesterday morning), smiling at a bee/butterfly (my wife and I disagree on whether this is a bee or a butterfly....Tam says it's a bee....I say it's a butterfly....neither the twine shall meet) that was provided by our close friends, Judy and The Doctor.

Sadly, a tragic accident occurred later that day where the string that suspended Mr. (Ms.?) Bee/Butterfly was not tied tightly enough and slipped and it went crashing directly into Emily's face. I discovered this when I heard about five panes of plate glass shatter throughout the neighbourhood from an ear-piercing scream!

Latest updates that we have on the crisis report to us that Emily is now undergoing therapy and is advised to avoid bees AND butterflies until well into her adult life....or possibly beyond.....


.....the bee/butterfly is currently being detained by authorities for questioning in the incident.........


More soon......


-E-

5 comments:

wordnerd said...

#1, that Filipino food looks fantastic, and now I'm hungry.

#2, I had the same thought about those fishing huts looking like something out of Star Wars.

#3, loved the picture of smiling Emily!

The picture posts are fun. :-)

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Great pictures and writing ! Could be a book. Do it ! But poor Emily, is she OK ? That Butterfly Fairy is as big as she is.
Judy

E said...

Thanx, Rebecca....the Filipino food WAS REALLY GOOD, and the huts DID look eerily like something from Star Wars and I love it when Emily smiles, too!!

Judy - Naw....she's fine....just freaked her out for a few minutes.....but she's great!!

-E-

E said...

Judy - I MIGHT do a book....seriously thinking about it....

Huyen Moto said...

Poor Emily,she seems to be very excited in Mr/Ms bee/butterfly.How cute is she!