Thursday, November 18, 2010


Because I haven't written in a while (couldn't find pen and/or paper! I had to take a pen from the embassy I got so desparate) I don't remember everything and certainly not in the order it happened.
Saigon is nuts!

(speaking of nuts, here's some that a few local women shared with us on the bus ride into Saigon. As near as I can make out, they are called "ow"; like "ow" it hurts, "ow". They taste a bit like chestnuts, or maybe even a bit walnut-y. I thought they looked a lot like the heads of the water buffalo they have here. Colin thought they looked more like mustaches. His idea made a better picture.)

The traffic is non-stop, complete chaos. Everyone drives like it's a video game. I do, very badly, want to rent a scooter at some point but it certainly won't be here.
Two nights in Saigon.
The first night we (Colin and I)went to a rec center to get some rock climbing in. No go. As soon as we'd touched the climbing wall it started to pour. We only got two routes done before the gave us a raincheck and stopped us from climbing. The raincheck doesn't do us much good, so we lost that money.
Across the street was a grocery store and I'd been seeing Reese's peanutbutter cups everywhere, which had induced a severe craving. Again, no go.
Colin decided we were going to improvise and make our own. We scoured the grocery store looking for ideas and came up with this:

We engineered a little fondue set, melting the chocolate and dipping out spoonfuls of peanutbutter into our little chocolate puddle. Over fondue peanutbutter cups, I learned that Colin is a geophsyicist and has been working in Cambodia for the past few months. He has one younger brother, and that both he and his dad look, reportedly, exactly like their dad. He loves skiing and has gotten into rock climbing over the last 2 years. He states that he climbs steadily at 5.9 and 5.10's, he can do, but are tough. Awesome.
I did it consistantly for only about 4 months and was starting 5.11's. Man! I need a partner and a gym! (I'm sure his 5.9's are much harder grading system than my gym was, but it's still encouraging.)
Colin is best desribed as having had a very good mother.
Thursday and Friday night (both my nights in Saigon) were spent a great little place: Acoustic Bar.
The place was packed, standing room only both nights. We managed to courch in the same place beside some stairs. The performers were fantastic!
It was funny how I could understand them perfectly as they were singing, with no detectable accent, but had a difficult time understanding some of their accents when they were talking.
On night we ate at a tasty "Rock Grill" restaurant. Your meat cooks on a hot rock that sits in front of you; it was kind of a cool idea and was nice to have some really good food. I haven't had great food in a few days.

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