The past few weeks have been very busy. After returning from Saigon, the first order of business was ho host the wedding reception of a friend that has flown here from the United States. Congratulations Ken and Thuy……. I hope you have a long and happy life together.
Many of my recent days have been busy with friends that have visited from Canada. Two of them (Brad and Ken) are here for three months. We also had the pleasure of having Ray, Sharon, Terry, and Kent stay with us for a week. It was very good to see them and we had a great time together. Hopefully they can find the time to return in the future.
I was recently in Saigon to purchase a hard drive to meet these friends. As is the norm, I met up with my friend Hau and went for a delicious meal of snails. There were big snails, small snails, and a few clams in between. Ooooooooo Baby!! A person cannot get enough of the great and different foods here.
On my return trip to Saigon, I was surprised when a very slight woman ran up the street
to me and punched me directly in the stomach. It was painless, but I was caught totally by surprise. There is a bit of history to this punch and here it is.
I now know many of the local Vietnamese people who hang around trying to get at tourist bucks. Some of them are motorcycle cowboys, others book and cigarette sales gals, and others can be hawkers, hookers, or local guides. One evening I was strolling back to my hotel when I was approached by a waif of a girl offering sexual services. When I spoke to her in my bad Vietnamese, she immediately cut her price by 70%. I then asked her what time she started working in the day and was told 10 am. Told her OK….. I would see her at 10 tomorrow. I then caught my bus back to Nha Trang and forgot the conversation. Three months later I was walking down Pham Ngu Lao Street and the same tiny woman confronted me with her hands on her hips in a
defiant pose. I did not remember her until she blurted out…. “I waited for you and you did not show up….. I am angry with you.” Huh!! I had to laugh as she sternly stared me down. I apologized and said “no problem, I will make things right. I will meet you tomorrow in the same place” Again, I caught a flight home and totally forgot about the humorous engagement. Well…….. While I was there last, this same tiny thing came running up and slugged me. In front of half of Saigon, she wagged her fingers and chastised me about waiting for me and how I had hurt her by not showing up. People all around were looking at me like I was some kind of lecher, and she was enjoying every minute of it. Her revenge at my jokes being sated, I sat with her and a couple of other working girls in a small chair on the street. I bought then a fruit
drink and we laughed about our interaction. It was a pleasant and joking conversation, and I had to endure the extremely hostile stares of foreign women walking by thinking I was some kind of sex tourist or the like. My bus had arrived and as I got up to go, I told her that I would meet her tomorrow for our rendezvous….. She responded by pointing her tiny little finger at me and declaring for everybody to hear that I was unreliable and that she will not wait for me anymore. OF course….. everybody looked. As I walked to my bus, an old moto cowboy slapped me hard on the shoulder and after a toothless smile said to me. “You understand…… You Friend” I could not have had a better compliment.