Day3&4….Halloween and home renovations in Vietnam. Scary?? Hmmmmm. I woke up at 5:30 am to dogs barking and construction crews arriving two houses down. Thank God!! They were not my guys or there would have been hell to pay. I figure 7 am is early enough without disrupting the whole world around you, but that thought seems lost on many here. I groggily made my way to the kitchen and after a fried egg and ham sub and a pot of coffee, I was ready to face the day. Today my day is simple. I need to go out and purchase an entry door handle set, 3 kitchen sinks and faucets. I also needed to go to the supermarket to pick up
some lunch items, Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well…. it was soso.
I started by driving 15 km to a Metro box store for some bread and luncheon meats. As soon as I walked in, I was bombarded by loud Vietnamese ballads that were way beyond a reasonable volume. Noise often makes me lose my temper (guess I am not an Angel) and I strode directly to the manager’s office to complain. To my satisfaction they turned down the volume and I was able to finish my chores, but now I am moody. On the way back I stopped to see if a motorcycle part had arrived yet but it had not. Grrrrrr. I dropped the groceries at home and went out to make the purchases for the renovations. At a hardware store not too far from me I was able to get a door set that looked identical to the photographs I took. I stopped at another place and looked at kitchen sinks and faucets. I found the sinks no problem but all of the faucets were classy and expensive. The fellow I talked with told me there were
less expensive ones that I could look at later….. OK …… I returned home thinking my day was getting better. Alas, It was not to be…….. Even though the door handle looked the same in photos, it did not fit. OK… no problem… I returned to the store to exchange it but it was 11:30… Aaaack!! Nooooooo!!!!!! CLOSED! Damn this closing at lunch policy!! My mood is now sour. I know it is absolutely useless to try to do any business in Vietnam between 11:30 and 2pm so I go home to enjoy my supermarket purchases. In the house, walls are being demolished and the crews were waiting for me to make decisions. Huh? The plans lay in a corner on the floor. I picked them up and showed them…. Ahhhhhh they exclaimed. It seems they do not work from plans here. With decisions made, they all shut down just like the stores and I was left in silence. Usually not being one for naps, I decided to give it a try and perhaps I would wake in a better mood. I was just falling asleep when the banging started. Darn!! 1:30 already and no nap. Back to the store I went to purchase the sinks and faucets. The fellow was late coming back from his nap another served me. I picked up the sinks and enquired about the less expensive faucet. NO! she said and pointed to an expensive one. Patiently I explained that the man told me he would show me one when I returned. No!!! You buy this one!! I
replied No!! I do not want that one!!! She then started twisting her wrists in a no manner and repeated No No! OK!! I left the sinks at the counter and left in a huff to go to another store that easily gave me what I wanted. I do not know why many places do not want to sell what the customer wants but tries to sell what they think you need. The same applies to supermarkets……. Anyway. Door handle is now correct and plumbing delivered. The work is proceeding according to plan with only minimal errors so far. I forgot to plan for a window for light in the new hallway…… Easily corrected. The drywaller erred in the wall around the stairs but again was easily corrected.
At the end of the day I decided to make a rare trip to the tourist area to play some backgammon with a friend. Boom Boom Boom….. The techno music could be heard from blocks away. The lights, noise, and artificial party like atmosphere almost made me turn back, however, I needed a little time chatting with someone who understands after this day of confusion. Hey!! I just realized it was Halloween and there were parties everywhere. The Vietnamese were into it as they love any excuse to dress up and enjoy socializing. My mood was lifting and after a few beers and conversation in English, I headed home. As I rode back I was mesmerized by the beauty and gracefulness of what seemed like an army of attractive women riding side saddle behind there mates with skirts flowing and shapely legs glowing….. By the time I reached home, my dark mood was gone. Tomorrow is Sunday and no work.