Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One week down, about 78 to go!

Hi, friends. I'm sitting here in a quán cà phê (coffee shop) sipping on a cà phê sữa đá at 9 p.m. with my Dad's youngest sister (Cô Vân), her husband (Chú Tai), their son (Thanh) and daughter (Chi). Not that unusual for VN as the place is bustling with folks. There must be at least a hundred tables here with no more than a dozen empty. Thanh claims this is the best coffee shop where they live (Hóc Môn District). Named Tri Kỷ: 

Not sure the photo does this place any justice as it's with an iPhone my dear buddy has graciously lent me for my time here. Several open floors, trees all around lined with lanterns, water falls, pools, and if you notice in the photo, a giant windmill! And they're playing some old school music from the States right now, but it's not all that surprising to me as I've heard it just about everywhere I go. Just glad it's one of the few things I can understand consistently compared to lots of the conversations people have been trying to have with me daily. 

So, about 12 hours from now marks exactly 1 week since I've been here. It certainly doesn't feel that way. And in some ways and some days, it doesn't even feel like I'm actually here in Viet Nam. I haven't felt the culture shock that many of you have said I would. Perhaps I'm just too easy-going and adaptable to even notice (or care?). The weather hasn't been as bad as I thought it'd be (about mid 80s the last week, mid 90s today.) 

In any case, I'm certainly enjoying myself thus far. Life where my family lives (about 45mins from the actual city/center/downtown) moves at a rather slow place. One of the things I've taken a liking to is the nap many people take in the afternoon. I sure love me a good nap! My body is almost adjusted to the time change. I haven't found myself waking up at 2 a.m. any more, which is nice. The only thing that does still bother me is the foam they have me sleeping on. I sure miss my giant bed and [side note: they just started playing Taylor Swift. <3] how cushiony and comfy it was. I'm too young to be sleeping straight at nights!

Anywho, since FB uploads aren't really working for me, I'll share some photos with y'all through here:

Say "NO!" to heroin!

Then, a few steps in front of this notice.

Those photos were taken outside of a building housing some sort of City or Government business. Still not sure exactly what my aunt was doing inside for me.

Mãng cầu aka Custard Apple

I've seen my cousin Nhi eat this in the states. They sell it at some Asian markets, frozen and imported. This was my first time ever trying it and I must say, it was quite delicious. You get a seed in every bite though, it seems. Only a matter of spitting it out, but the flesh is soft and sweet and quite juicy.

Not quite exactly our Magnums from Europe, right people? It's called Wall's here and I wasn't fortunate to find any Pistachio, Almond, or Jane's favorite of Strawberry Swirl. 

Vú sữa!

Literally translated as "breast milk." As you can see, the juice of the fruit is milky and very sweet. According to Danielle, the sexiest fruit ever! And after trying it for the first time, I must agree. I sure do loves me some breast milk, hah!

And this last photo was snapped my second night here after my cousin Thanh took me for a ride downtown. The trees in the city were still decorated for Tet with lanterns strewn all across.

It's a bit blurry since we were zooming through on his Xe Honda Wave. But for as busy as it appeared, my cousin mentioned that many people were still on vacation in other parts of the country. They only started to return yesterday. I can only imagine how many people the streets are filled up with now.

Well, that's all I have for now. Until the next chance I get for wi-fi, folks! 


PS: this post is dedicated to Rabiah Khalid, haha. Happy now?!


  1. Hi Tin Mai! :) Looking forward to more photos and posts about your trip! I want to try me some sexy fruit too.. lol

  2. AAAAH i love you tin! I feel so honored :)

    enjoy that breast milk ;)

  3. i was googling 'taylor swift' 'breast' and 'heroin' and this page came up..

  4. Great post buddy! Can't wait for the next one!

  5. thanks everyone!
    rome - let's get a google trend going!

  6. I felt like Lana just told me you where thinking of going to VN. Wow!! It's amazing you are taking this BIG adventure. Take care, be safe, and I'm sure Dylan is missing you like crazy. :)