Friday, September 2, 2011

Brought to you by the letter H

Brought to you by the letter H

There seem to be an abundance of places named with the letter H, thus the title of this post.
After Hoi An was Hue,  which is several hours north of Hoi An. Several of us did an Imperial Banquet, where we dressed up as the royal family in long silk robes with hats. Since the only guys with us were John and Charlie it was decided that Jo and John (a couple traveling together) would be king and queen, Charlie was the joker (obviously!), and the rest of us girls the daughters. We had a lovely 10 course meal, complete with traditional northern Vietnamese music. With every course they brought out elaborately carved animals made from vegetables. Can you guess the antics we got up to with those? We had the bird-shaped carrots dancing across the tables, flying through the air, and interacting with their fellow bird-shaped carrots. 'Cause you know, we're all 10 years old on the inside! The following night we had the opportunity to have dinner at Charlie's parents house. It was by far the BEST meal I've had in Vietnam and we got to meet his grandma, who's adorable! She is in her 90's and has the blackened teeth that is very common in older Asian women from chewing beetle nut tobacco. The women do this after they are married to deter suitors. After dinner I was going to go back to the hotel and go to bed because of the whole cold thing, but then got convinced to go for just one drink, please Clarissa? As you can probably imagine one drink turned into many drinks, tons of dancing, singing at the top of our lungs, and a hazy 2am walk back to the hotel. I should have known the night was going to take a turn for the wacky when we all ordered the 2-for-1 special, the Leg Opener. Any evening out with the opening line "I'll have 2 leg openers please" is bound to go awry! Jo, our tour photographer, took tons of pictures, which look rather The Hang Over-like, minus the ping pong show.

My random conversation with a cyclo (rickshaw) driver in Hue:
Cyclo: Hey lady, where you from?
Me: America, where are you from?
Cyclo: I'm from Cambodia.
Me: Really? I was just there. How long have you been in Vietnam?
Cyclo: Umm (clearly struggling for the words) 1...1 million, 1 million years (the giggles from the fellow cyclo drivers start)
Me: 1 million years! How old are you?
Cyclo: 65
Me: Are you pulling my leg? At this point peels of laughter from the cyclo driver and his buddies are under way and my friends and I can't help but laugh as well.

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