Posted by Nancy on March 28, 2008
Odds and ends of observations today.
First, if anyone wants the password to see photos Elaine posted on my blog, just leave your contact information in the comments section and I will send it to you. If you are not a close friend explain how I know you – just preventing cyber perverts from seeing photos. If you are one of Elaine’s blog friends, it is the same post that is on hers.
1. Humidity. It is so humid here that we are having to send our laundry out. Rinsing things out and hanging them to dry doesn’t work unless you have three or four days to wait. I rinsed out a onesie for Quinn two days ago and it still isn’t dry (we have even had the air conditioning on a bit during that time). Even silky things take two days, but I am doing those anyway rather than sending them out.
2. Retirement. When I went shopping with Ms. Lam two days ago we talked about America during lunch. She is very interested in how we live in America. When I mentioned that I am an elected official, a “politician,” she said “You mean you were.” “No, I am now,” I replied. She had a hard time getting her brain around that one. “When do people retire in America,” she asked. I gave her Social Security Eligibility 101 and told her some people retire earlier and some people continue working beyond that age. She said in Vietnam men must retire at age 60 and women at 55. She couldn’t get over that I still work.
3. The shops on the other side of silk street seem to have better prices than the ones on this side. Now I find out. It is one of the widest and busiest streets in this area so we haven’t gone over there shopping before. I will now.
4. Yesterday I heard a cacophony of noise and voices outside of the hotel and opened the patio doors and looked out. It was a stream of children about 10 years old, wearing school uniforms and walking double file, with teachers herding them along. The line wound around the block and there must have been at least a hundred kids. I’m guessing it was some type of field trip, but who knows. Of course they were walking in the street since the sidewalk is covered with parked motor scooters. And the other sound I heard? What else – scooters beeping their horns at the kids as they crowded around them. Unbelievable.
5. Breakfast is free at the hotel and is good. Yesterday we had French toast (they don’t have syrup so we had it with jam) and bacon, and Matt also had scrambled eggs and hash browns. While we ate our waitress took Quinn and walked around with him to keep him happy. This is the second time that has happened at breakfast, and it also happened with our waiter at Mama Rosa’s. It’s good we were advised to expect this; it is their kindness to you so you can eat undisturbed, and is common. In America we would fear that someone was trying to kidnap our child.
6. The people here are so friendly. Those who speak a little English want to talk to you so they can practice it, and we had two young women stop for a few minutes to talk while we were sitting on a bench by the lake yesterday. Everyone comments on how fortunate the baby is to be going home with us.
7. My computer is having motherboard issues. Matt says he thinks it probably has a cracked transistor; we were having trouble getting it to boot up before we left home. We are leaving it on all the time now so we don’t one day find we are offline for the duration. If I stop blogging you will know what happened.
That’s probably enough mindless observations for one day. It’s about time for breakfast, then I’ll force myself to go shopping again.