Archive for July 2008
It was a long train ride from Lao Cai to Hanoi, going almost in parallel with the fabled Hong river. Since I bought a hardseat ticket, I opted to spend the majority of the time standing, with my head stuck out the window, breathing in fresh air and daydreaming. Soon I saw the comedy of life:
The train made an abrupt, unscheduled stop at an nondescript location. I turned and saw 2 guys climb on. Within seconds packages being thrown out. There were about 4 or 5 villagers catching them. Horn was blown. People were yelling orders. More packages were thrown. Before you know it, the train was moving. My guess is these villagers had a deal with the train conductor, who still had to meet schedule so he couldnt stop too long. Frantic scrambling ensued. Someone tripped. Those who remained on the ground started giving chase to catch the boxes. The train picked up speed. Horn blown again.The 2 guys jumped down, swiping sweat off their faces and laughing among each other. Their friends/relatives sat down exhausted from all the running and the stifling heat, also laughing from a satisfactory rendezvous.
I laughed too.
This happened a few times afterwards and I laughed each time. Life is fun and tough at the same time I guess.
As of July 21
Santa Ana, California: 4.559 usd/gallon=1.2 usd/liter=21000 vnd/liter
Saigon: 19000 vnd/liter
USA’s GDP per capita:44000 usd
Vietnam’s GDP per capita: 3100 usd
When I was at Little Beach Maui on Sept 2007, I took this pic.
Today, as I browsed thru the album, I caught this
What da hell!!!
In Saigon, business spills onto the street pavement. In Phan Thiet, it spills onto the shore, where entrepreneurial Vietnamese sell souvenirs, drinks and of course seafood.
Like nowhere else on Earth, here on the sandy beach of Phan Thiet, the food’s source is almost 0 meter away from its consumption.
Last week, my friend ditched work and we went to get a hair cut in a salon for men. As we made a turn into Truong Dinh st, he spotted his colleague, also a managing director, and had to detour away from the salon to hide from him. When we finally got out of the car, he instructed the driver to drive away quickly and we had to run inside to avoid being seen.
I dont know why this struck me as funny. I guess it s because the incident reminds me of how in Saigon, appearance IS everything.