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October, 2017:


That’s an 8, not a B.

Towering Genius

Dancing Slushie

A new 7-11 opened on the street that I walk on to and from work. I saw a guy in a slushie costume dancing outside the store, to attract customers. When I walked home after my language lesson, 12 hours later, the poor bastard was still out there.

And you thought your job sucked?

“Happiness will shine out…”

“…in families that don’t have violence.”

Personal history lesson

One of the really great benefits of this job is the opportunity to learn about the host country’s history and society from a different angle. This week the Consulate sponsored an historical tour of what used to be the presidential palace of the government of South Vietnam. It’s now a museum.

The tour was led by a professor of history at one of the local universities. The republican period is his area of specialization, and so he has an incredible body of knowledge about that period of history. For a history nerd like me, it was a treat to get a tour from an expert.

The room where the President received ambassadors. I think of it as “The Room of the Impossible Chairs.”

I feel like we got a much more rich experience than if we had taken a “regular” tour from one of the museum’s guides. The professor was glib and unfiltered in his assessment both of that period of time, and the way it is currently presented by the government. It was refreshing to hear a more objective viewpoint.

The Consulate is down the street and on the left.

Best of all, because not a lot of people wanted to get up early on a Saturday morning to take the tour, we got an almost personal tour.

My (in)famous “I-am-paying-complete-attention-to-you” pose.

Traffic in Vietnam

Traffic is pretty chaotic here. Here’s a typical Friday afternoon near my house. Note the number of motorcycles driving on the sidewalk:

The best kind

Functional Workman

The worst kind

Unpredictable Trouble

Mom, look away…

My mother isn’t a fan of cantaloupe. So I didn’t buy this for her. If she ever makes me mad, though…,


I don’t want to be the ones to tell them

This poster (it’s about 10 feet tall, posted on a wall in HCMC) commemorates the October Revolution in Russia.

“Hotly welcoming the commemoration of 100 years of the Russian October Revolution”

It used to be marked as a significant event in the USSR, but I doubt they’re commemorating in Russia anymore. Of course, I could be wrong.