Sunday March 10, 2007 9:09 PM Vietnam Time
My Tho (phonetically “Me Taw”)
I’m so thankful that God decided to create Ambien. 😉 It really helps with the time change. First thing in the morning my family took us to eat breakfast. It was a combination of eggs, steak, a Vienna sausage, lots of grease, some kind of sauce, and French bread. It was actually very tasty, but I could tell WifeGeeding didn’t like it that much.
After we ate, we visited the marketplace. There is just wayyyyy to much to describe here, so I’ll just trust in the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words and provide you with a flickr link to view at your pleasure here, or can check out a slide show of the pics here. Yup, I’m not in Texas anymore.
After the market we spent a lot of time at my family’s house. It’s a very small two story building. As you enter the house we immediately see a shrine dedicated to loved ones. You can see pictures of both of my parents there, and they placed my mother’s ashes just below her picture. One of the kids placed a small Christmas tree there because she thought Mom would have liked that. It was also interesting to see all the pictures hanging on their walls. All of the pictures were of my family, with the exception of only a few which was of their immediate family. There are even pictures of my in-laws and one photo of me and my prom date (I thought I destroyed all those!). I’m really just beginning to grasp how much my mother and all of us means to them.
Even though their house is much better than years ago, it’s still pretty humbling by American standards. No AC and no shower. They basically just use wash cloths everyday. The stairs used to get to the top floor are more like steps to a ladder, but the furniture they made to furnish the place is pretty inventive and impressive. The roof is covered with plants that they really like, and all the buildings are just far enough part to walk through. They tried to make us feel at home by playing some American music, unfortunately it was country music. I loath that music, but it sure made WifeGeeding happy.
After we ate lunch at their place we just really sat around and talked. One part of lunch I wanted to make note of is how they always set aside a small dish for those that are no longer with us. My uncle is better at English than I thought, but my sister does most of the translating. One thing that really stuck out was his daughter. She made this very beautiful dress for her Barbie. It’s not an Asian Barbie or anything, but some kind of knock-off. After we complimented her work, we asked how many Barbies did she own. She gave us a bit of a puzzling look and responded “That’s it, I only need one. I don’t think you would ever hear an eight year old American girl say that.
Later in the day we visited some relatives. I had no idea who they were, but it was fun visiting with them. Heck, one of the even called a relative in Germany and I had to speak to her. Even though she couldn’t speak English, it was still a pleasant conversation.
After that family visit we went back to the hotel and I took one of the best naps of my life. After nap time came dinner and doing some touristy things. Now it’s about time to hit the sack again.
A few notes about the hotel. There are only two English speaking channels, the BBC and CNN. Right now the Daily Show with Jon Stewart is on CNN, which is normally shown on Comedy Central. Weird, huh?? It begins with a disclaimer that it’s a fictional news show with actors as reporters. Sometimes I think that disclaimer should be show at the beginning of every Fox News broadcast. Oh, and to turn the electricity on in our room you have to insert the hotel key in a special slot.