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Saigon: Day One

February 22nd, 2014 · 5 Comments

This is my first trip to Vietnam, but I have been in other south east Asian countries before, including Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore. So it’s new but not completely unfamiliar.

I’m here with Gisele who is on a kind of church reunion trip. Three of her siblings and about 10 other friends from her childhood in Vietnam are here, some of them back for the first time and some who have visited before. All of them except for a couple of spouses grew up here in the Saigon Chinatown and went to the same church together. I am the only caucasion, and the only one not fluent in Cantonese. I’m used to being left out of the conversation, and I can understand some of the Cantonese, but I definitely feel a little on my own. They are all very friendly and go out of their way to speak a few words of Mandarin or English to me occasionally, so that helps. I guess it’s all part of the experience.

Last night we all went out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. I’m used to eating Chinese food, but tastes differ. Last night the pigeon was pretty good, though not much meat and the deer tasted just like beef, so long with a few other dishes I was able to get full.

An easy restful day today, then we catch a plane tomorrow to central Vietnam, Hue and Da Nang, near where Richard was stationed during the war.

I have a Sling Box on my Dish DVR at home that is supposed to let me access my DVR from anywhere in the world. I hadn’t been able to use it much on previous trips, but I got a new router on my home network that lets me prioritize connections. I just watched the UA basketball game from my hotel room on my tablet computer, and except for a few minor glitches it worked very well. Nice to be able to stay in touch like that. What a world we live in.

Tags: Family Updates

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Richard // Feb 23, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Sounds like this trip is going to be different from most you take. I wonder how different Hue, Phu Bai and Da Nang will look from when I was there. Do you know yet how you will get between those three places? Bus? If you go past the airport in Phu Bai you will be very near where I was. I lived beside the airport for a couple months.

  • 2 Donna // Feb 23, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I’m glad the most important thing is working — the Sling Box! — so you can watch the basketball games and we can WhatsApp talk about the plays.

    Sounds interesting and fun!

  • 3 Dale // Feb 23, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I have a feeling that I would get pretty hungry trying to find things I would like to eat. By the way, the solar panel is working great but my filter is plugging. Not sure what o will do then.

  • 4 Don // Feb 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    How’s the Sea Cucumber? Bleah, I think they eat that right?

  • 5 Daryl // Feb 26, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Chinese do eat sea cucumber, and in fact I tried it one New Year’s Eve after I had also tried some Chinese whiskey. First and last time. I always remember blasting them with cherry bombs down in Rocky Point, and that doesn’t make them seem very appetizing.

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