As usual, little time to blog, and a few random pictures.
Darn!! My bug zapper broke down. It started zapping away non stop and for fear of an electrical problem, I unplugged it. I tried again the next day, and it was still constantly zapping. I have determined that warranties are next to useless here for many things, so I opened it up to take a peek. Alas, a poor unsuspecting lizard was tempted by the smorgasbord of insects inside. In its attempt to infiltrate the device to get at the bugs, it became a victim itself by getting wedged in between the circuit board and the mechanism. The poor thing got fried, and unfortunately had not enough meat to snack on. In the process of getting fried, the arcing sparks burned a big hole in the circuit board. Lesson to self…. Hang all bug zappers.
Seaking about bug zappers, let’s talk about what is impossible in Vietnam. It all started when I wanted to key the house so that the same key would fit all the doors. Impossible I was told. OK. How about having a knob on the inside instead of a key? Impossible I was told. I was starting to get frustrated. Another item I wanted was a motion detector light for the yard to protect against prowlers. Impossible I was told, the same for the bug zapper. I threw up my hands, giving up in trying to tell these people that it was possible and decided to set out on a quest. The first thing I was able to find was a lock with the turnable knob on the inside and key outside. The door installer grudgingly admitted that ok, it was possible, but multiple locks using the same key is not. I will have to work on that one when In Saigon. They use some kind of old style French or European lock here, different than at home. The second impossible task was the motion light. I was told that security here would be much better if they were available in Vietnam, because the local population are not aware if its existence. Therefore, the light coming on itself should scare the begeebees out of a night prowler. I can also imagine that importers thought bringing them in was a bad idea because of the number of small yappy dogs most household have. I can now say that I have one of the rare households protected my motion security lights. Many Vietnamese stop and gaze in awe of the interesting device. The bug zapper was the third device I wished to find. Again, I was told they did not exist in Vietnam. I ventured out with my limited Vietnamese and was comically able to impress my ideas on sales people in electronics shops. Again, I was told many times that it is impossible. Well guess what……. I found a small store in an industrial area that sold them. They had two sizes, a large one perhaps 2 feet in length, and another half the size. I opted for the large lizard zapping one and thought that if it worked well, I would return for a smaller one. It was a hit!! As soon as I turned it on in the house, not only did all the insects inside head straight for it, but so did the insects outside. It sounded for a while like a furious popcorn machine. Again, the locals marveled at the contraption and asked all sorts of questions. The snapping of the device scared some children at first, but now they have gotten used to it. Happy with myself for yet becoming more of the talk of the neighborhood, I went to purchase another smaller one for the house, and was going to move the big one outside. Wouldn’t you know it…. The store all of a sudden had a big rush on zappers and was all sold out…. Hmmmm I never told anybody where I had got it. Oh well….
There were those who thought the drivers license was not possible, and for us to hold red books and family books so foreigners could stay in our house was also not possible. All done deals, but here is the biggy.
We have applied for dual citizenship in order to do everything legal here and to set up our planned retirement. Everybody from government officials, expats, foreigners living here and Viet kheu (not sure if spelled right), told us it was impossible for us to become dual citizens. Some told us that it was because Vietnam was not a commonwealth country, or its style of Government. Others insisted that once it was lost, it could not be returned without making reparations and giving up a persons other citizenship. Well, we had heard from Canada a small blurb in the news that got out attention. We pursued this little tidbit of information all the way to conclusion and I can now proudly announce that My wife is a new Vietnamese citizen as of yesterday. She now holds both a Canadian and Vietnamese passport and has all of the privileges and legal ability to hold property and work here if she wishes. I should be granted dual citizenship in the next 7 or 8 months.
One little oddity: It seems that I have to take a Vietnamese name for my passport…. Hmmmm… any ideas?? So far I think a humorous one would be Cau Dung.