encounters of the strange kind

A couple of weeks ago, I found a weird box on my desk at work, no note, no nothing. Must be a mistake....

So I moved it to my co-worker's desk. The next day, its on my desk again. Huh??? So again I move it. By the time I was planning to move it a third time the day after, my co-worker walks in and tells me it's a present for me. She had picked it up along her travels. OK..... Here's a pict of the box:

Its some kind of wedding incense. Apparently peopIe think I need help getting married. Sheesh....
At least it smells nice.

Another strange sight that confronted me as I was walking along the alley towards a friend's place. This man is huge. If you think there are no fat people in Vietnam, think again...

He has been sleeping in her alley for a couple of nights now. The rumor is that he got into a spiff with the wife and she kicked him out. Sleeping on the street seems to be common here, maybe because the weather is so hot it doesn't matter where you sleep.

sick of eating

I have been sick the last couple of days and couldn't figure out why until I told Steph the symptoms. She thinks I have food poisoning cause she had it a couple weeks ago herself.

Exhaustion, stomach cramps, too much time in the bathroom, absolutely no appetite.... I think its because I've only eaten Vietnamese food in the last day or two. This is what I get for hanging out with friends who are only in Vietnam for a short period of time and adamantly refuse to eat anything besides Vietnamese food. The fact that I joined them in eating 4 meals in the span of six hours might have also been a factor, poor overworked stomach o'mine.

Feeling much better today having slept 18 of the past 24 hours. I think I need to go get a burger

Previous Good Times with Food:

Some Shabu with Van

Vietnamese BBQ with Ha, Thu, and Kevin.

sexy mamas

Some picts from last weekend, hanging out my ladies :)

Lean, mean, and ready to ride.

"Nhau", not just an activity for guys anymore, chilling with some good food and a couple of beers.

Out on the town

media comfort

Most people crave food when they miss home, which I do sometimes, but not as much as the TV shows that I watched with my sibs after a long day of work. Grey's Anatomy, Project Runway, Scrubs, Alias, Lost, Coupling, etc. They were usually followed by long talks into the night.

Yesturday I saw a commercial for the 1st season of Grey's Anatomy. It will begin showing next month. This was the last show I watched while I was home. All the shows that I miss seeing are appearing on the tube here, but they all start at the beginning again.

Although I had imagined that the familiar would bring comfort, I find that I'm not excited about watching them anymore. At least not here, maybe because I already know what will happen or maybe because I miss sharing the experience with my sibs, the laughter, the joking, eating way too much junkfood...

Spent last night on the rooftop, chatting with the girls till 3am in the morning, staring at the stars and wondering where do I go from here. TV doesn't do if for me anymore.

test of patience

So yesturday night, as Steph and I are heading home, we get pulled over by the cops. Apparently, we were driving down a one-way street. I sat on the curb as Steph attempted to sweet talk us out of trouble. "We're not very familiar with the area and are kinda lost, can you point us in the right direction?"

The cops were busy on that corner, pulling people over left and right for one reason or another. And each person left as they paid their so-called "fine".

Steph and I were held for 20 minutes, within which I only spoke English and Steph pretended to speak broken Vietnamese. At first they wanted the bike registration, which we didn't have since the thing is rented. Then they threatened to withhold it for 20 days.

So we waited... and waited... the guy starts to get chatty with Steph. Next thing we know, he's asking for her phone number and to personally escort us home and possibly have coffee sometime. Yeah, right... What a scheez.... at least we didn't have to pay no fine.

We declined the offer of a police escort, really did not want the dude to know where we lived....

Earlier in the day, the fortune teller did say that her patience would be tested.

saigon horsetrack?

This past weekend, Steph, Ngoc, and I went to the racetrack. Didn't even know they had one here... I thought gambling was illegal.... apparently not when it comes to horse-racing.... It would be the first time I've been to a racetrack period. Not much of the gambling for money type, for fun, yes... but not for money.

Anyways there was a lot of people there. We did make a few bets. Its 10,000 dong per bet. We even won a couple of times, but the way the pot works is that it's divided among all the winners and the times that we did win, so did everyone else, so the return would be measley. Oh well.

The crowds. It was very weird, kinda like a scene from 'My Fair Lady', but not quite so clean, British, or posh, if that makes any sense at all. I mean horse-racing is a Western activity, no? a sport from a bygone era reserved for those who can afford it. What the hell is it doing in Vietnam?

The horses.

Reading up on the stats.

Watching the action.

Who's in the lead?

See what I mean by questionable fashion sense....

catching the american dream

Vietnamese people are in the news? What? Where?

2 millionaire jackpot winners

and 1 fashion designer extraordinaire

Damn, but I miss Project Runway and Sunday papers.

the consumerist

Was hanging out at Bobby's Brewers when a friend mentioned that she was such a "consumerist". She is leaving Vietnam permanently in a couple of months, but before she jets she is on a mission to have her perfect wardrobe tailored. Amidst the sprinkling conversation of ribbons, fabric runs, and seamstresses, I started thinking about my own consumer habits.

Before I came to Vietnam, I thought no way would I be buying more clothes. I had enough and already bought clothes I thought I couldn't find in Vietnam ( i.e. a few dresses) before I left. Besides, local Vietnamese fashion sense is questionable at times. But within the six months I've lived here, I've returned to my shopoholic ways.

Check out the goods I've picked up so far:

"What is with women and shoes? " ~ Seinfield
I have no idea why we're programmed this way, I'm averaging one pair a month. Thank goodness they are so much cheaper here.

And of course, lets not forget the dresses, especially when you can get them tailor-made to fit you to a "T". I just started getting dresses tailored a week or so ago. I love going on fabric runs and sketching out exactly what I want :) Only one of the above is tailored.

Check out my first sketch below. I think it turned out well. Looks so cute with white flats :)

down time

Been outta the dance clubs the last few weekends. Its a welcome break. I like spending time with friends doing other things once in a while.

After a day at the races, we hosted a movie night on the rooftop and screened "Kung Fu Hustle"

Twister, Poker, and Scrabble at Stephen's.

Check out the ridiculus clump of words on this board. Its all on one side. Sorry the image is not so clear.

Some Bowling...119 seems to be the magic number. Mine and Steph's scores add up to 119 too! Freaky. Yes, I know, I'm a terrible bowler.

Chef Steph cooking up some grub, i.e. bun rieu.

Fabric Shopping in Cholon, Saigon's Chinatown. It is overwelming.... there are around 2,000 shops door-to-door. Can't figure out if its a designer's dream or a designer's hell.

cyclo race

Went to the annual Saigon Cyclo Race yesturday and ran into Gollum. We're really short next to him....I feel like a hobbit...

Some of the Dark Riders. Scary....

Patricia modeling the helmet look.

More costumes: Gladiators, Sailors, and Clowns

Decorated Cyclos.

The HSBC piggy-bank. Wonder how many coins I can fit into that?

The Race!!!!

Uh-oh! Uh-oh! Pink Man Down! Pink Man Down!!!!

Back up and ready to race.

Running after...

One of the team challenges on the obstacle course.

The cheering crowd!

The results are in.

The best part was the VIP treatment. Gollum and his mistress, one of the Dark Riders, snuck us in for some tasty snacks and champange catered by Au Parc.