hit me!!!

Stephanie wanted to head out to the "casino" this past Friday night. We had a little practice session of Black Jack at home.

The guys brought their own beer. Patricia and I don't really drink that often, so had no bottle opener. No worries though, using their innovative instincts, they used our front door instead.

The occassion we were supposedly celebrating was Patricia's and Kym's trips back to the States and UK.

As we were waiting for Patricia to finish packing, our palms got a bit itchy and then the cards came out.

Steph right before her last round.

The two hands that wiped her out!!!

Kev was the only person who walked away with any money. He won all the hands that he dealt. Dang...

After well wishes and hugs, we headed out for more gambling.
At the casino in Club Royale, Johnny gave me 8 quarters to play the slots. I won 10 dollars. Woo-hoo!!!!

Steven won $40 on one Black Jack hand, walking away $9 buck ahead. Yay !

so long, farewell to u n' u n' u...

So finally, the boys' trip came to an end.

We made sure to send them off in style though :)

floating down the mekong

Haven't really been outta the city much, so when Patricia asked me to check out the Mekong, we'll why not. Certainly one part of Vietnam I haven't seen.

Welcome to Vietnam.

Lush greenery.

Traditional music performances. The girls were so cute.

Random moments with the camera. It was a long boat ride.

Funny, they match the boat. Orange, Blue, and White.

Enjoying the sun.

what did you order? Awhhh, heo....

One word of advice. Never ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER let Stephanie or 3 Peace Corp guys that just came from West Africa order dinner.

Cause what you'll end up getting...we'll lets just say..... can be difficult to swallow.

First up, SCORPIONS. One of the guys was once bitten by one. I guess this is revenge?.....

Oh and what might this delightful dish be? Yes, yes, indeed... it is a goat's penis. Thanks Steph. Looks absolutely scrumptious, NOT!

They cut it up and put in in a soup. Oh, even better....

Ummm.... I would just toss it under the table for the dog if I were you.

A demonstration of the 'gag reflex'. No, no, I don't want to try, no practice for me... I think I got the maneveur down pat....Its "chewy"? "Hard to get down"? Really? Who would have guessed?
( Click on image to see gag action in detail )

"We did it...try." Nope, I was born in the year of the GOAT, that's like cannibalism.

Down in the Mekong, they were out for blood. Snake's blood.

The snake was the one thing I did try. Chewy. But no shot of blood for me. Patricia downed the "heart". Girl, you crazy, you know that. Who the heck did I move in with?

Can ya take me back to the 'Bia Hoi' place? I'll be good.

They have normal food there, ummm like things that are actually appetizing to eat..

tino's scrabble tournament

So Tino moved into a new place and decided to have a Scrabble Tournament as a house warming party.

We were all fairly impressed by his pimping bachelor pad, especially the colored lights. So blue...So mesmerizing...

On to Scrabble. And the winner gets to wear....... Oooooh........fancy robe... and its even reversible!

Let the games begin!

Down to the final tiles. Too bad we couldn't spell Vietnamese words. What a bummer...

Enjoying some food and hitting some cards.

the 3 M's in action

Patricia's friend Michael came to visit. He brought along Matt and Marc. Here they are chewing on some itty bitty hot peppers. They had us laughing from beginning to end. Thanks for the video Patricia.

Witnesses to the madness.

When the milk finally came, they started gargling it!

Patricia's turn. The girl is always game.... so brave....

huh? what did you say?

Sometime last Tuesday, I started having pain in my right ear. Very uncomfortable, made it hard to sleep. Went into work the next day, but decided to have it checked out at the clinic on-campus. The Vietnamese doctor took a look at it and kinda freaked out saying that it was very infected, that I had a hole in my eardrum and needed to see a specialist right away or lose my hearing. Ok.....He prescribed me some meds and directed me to call a specialist.

After informing my boss of the news, they insisted I take the day off and see another doctor. Thank goodness my insurance card arrived on my desk that week. So I go see an American doctor at Family Medical. His diagnosis, inflammation and a small tear. I am prescribed antibacterial drops and instructed to come back for a check-up the next day. Ah... those drops did not help. The next day it had gotten worse and now I am prescribed 10 days worth of antibiotics, given two different kinds of painkillers, then referred to an ENT at yet another hospital, the French-Vietnamese (FV) Hospital.

The French doctor at FV poked and prodded, ugh..so much throbbing pain, my head spun. He didn't speak a lick of English so eveything had to go through a Vietnamese translator. Final diagnosis: a case of Swimmer's ear. I had gone to the pool twice the weekend before, both Saturday and Sunday. Another sign that I'm just not meant for swimming. Not only do I sink, but apparently my ears attract fungi.

3 days, 3 hospitals, 3 doctors of 3 ethnicities, and 3 different diagnoses left me with 3 goodie bags full of drugs. I hate going to the doctor!

Most of the week, I've had to shift my head in order to hear people, which makes it very hard to eavesdrop in on conversations. In class, I informed my students that they had to speak extra loud since I was slightly deaf in one ear. A lot of " huhs? Can you repeat that again? " My students seem to find it amusing to have a half deaf teacher.

Many incidents of people mouthing things just to annoy me. Dude, I'm only deaf in 1 ear, the other one is perfectly fine and in quite close proximity!

After a week of drops and pills, I think I have 75% of my hearing back in that ear. Have another check-up with the ENT on Friday. Hopefully, things will be back to normal in a few more days.

I want my banana!!!

Yesturday night, I had met up with a friend at a Trung Nguyen cafe near my house. Not wanting coffee, we ordered two Banana Splits. When I looked into my dish and saw no banana I returned it! The waiter, then the manager, then another manager proceeded to demand why was I returning my dish.

Well, number 1, the dish was not what I had ordered, I had ordered a BANANA Split! Number 2, the picture of the dish shows a banana. Number 3, even the items listed under Banana Split : 2 scoops of vanilla, 1 chocolate, 1 strawberry, banana, and a chantilly roll shows that indeed the dish contains BANANA. Instead I get 1 scoop of durian (ewwww), 1 chocolate, 1 strawberry, and the chantilly roll.

By this time, there is about 5 or 6 people standing there staring at me like I was crazy. They argued that the banana was for decoration only and that it does not affect the taste of the ice cream. WTF? I was so mad, I kinda went off! I would not have ordered the damn dish if it were not for the banana. If the banana was just decoration, then it shouldn't have been in the picture. It was false advertising! I wanted my banana damn it!!!!

They blamed the main office, saying that they got the menu from the main office and that they didn't provide everything on the menu. That is the most bizarre, twisted excuse I've ever heard. What kind of service is this??? The waiter should have warned me ahead of time then so I could have ordered something else or there should have been a side note saying the banana is not offered at every branch. At least something!

They finally took the two melting dishes away. The manager, all huffy puffy, comes up and says he will charge me anyway cause he still does not understand how it affects the taste of the ice cream. I feel like I'm talking in circles...I told him I really didn't care, since I wasn't gonna pay anyways, he could charge whatever he wanted... the bill was just gonna sit there.

10 minutes later, the two melted dishes came back, with two chunks of banana in each. I shook my head, they had obviously just ran out to get some and hoped that I would pay. I did....just cause they tried in the end.

Unfortunately for them though, I've also met their boss at the main office and boy is he going to get an earful when I see him again.

p.s. Sorry for the infrequent posts of late. Too many things happening....there will be updates this weekend when I get some free time. Tales of snakes, scorpions, and a goat's penis??? to come.

Bao, you willl be missed

My dear Bao, I will miss you, your sillyness, optimism, and obsession of everything PINK. My 70's chica, what will me and Patricia do without you to make us laugh? Romps to the fabric stores, tailors, and hot sweaty pool halls will never be the same.

San Fran, look out, you've got a helluva a woman coming your way.

A demonstration of ahem..... I don't want to know....and "cuppage".

What happens when Saigon clubs are not sufficiently air-conditioned.

We go and terrorize the 24 hour convenience store clerks.

Defiling their chocolate.

One of the only places actually still open after the clubs shut down at midnight.

Uh-no.... I know you like pink and all, but yeah, this one you need to pass...

Pool hall garb... is interesting... Who are we kidding, these people need stylists!

We'll all be thinking of you :)

hitting pavement

Fell off a bike yesturday night. Someone had suddenly pulled up in front of us and tapped the front wheel. Bike swerved and I fell off, thrown onto the pavement with a thud.

After the initial shock, I lifted my head and looked around. Thankfully the street was not too crowded and there were no other bikes heading my way. Got up, dusted myself off and walked away with a couple of bruises and slightly scraped knees. Nothing that will leave a scar. It definitely put things into a bit of perspective when one realizes that much worst could have happened.

Spent the rest of the night coding dynamic text in flash. Yeah, you could say it renewed my interest in learning and teaching better.