Random Observations

I often find the tales of mundane, daily life most interesting when it comes to travel stories. Here are a few random observations we made along the way — we may add to this list as it occurs to us to do so.

  • Why are 90% of the photos in the ubiquitous beauty salons here of Caucasian people? Do they really think that a new haircut will make them look more like Justin Timberlake or Britney Spears?
  • Apparently docks are not required to stop a boat and get out. You can just drive straight into the land (usually near a ramp or stairway) and/or nudge other boats out of the way in spaces where there appears to be no space, then step boat to boat until you reach land. (Driving a car is done similarly. Space is not a prerequisite for pulling into a spot).
  • Most motorbike drivers wear face masks here to protect themselves from dust and fumes. Many women also wear hats, scarves, gloves and flip flop socks to protect themselves from sun exposure so their skin stays fair. When it rains, they add ponchos that fit over themselves and their scooter. They look like bandit bats. Thousands of them. It’s a bit disconcerting.
  • Hungry? Look for “ca phe” on a sign. Not Vietnamese, but their variation of the word “cafe.”
  • We have enjoyed putting the translation puzzle together that is created when each person in your group catches perhaps 60% of the story that your Vietnamese guide is trying to communicate. We compare notes and come up with various possibilities of what the full story might actually be. Try it sometime — “lost in translation” meets “broken telephone” — it’s fun!

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