Vietnam was a trip, I mean that in the hallucinogenic mushroom sense. I expected Earth shattering epiphanies that would alter the course of my entire future and dig deep into the core of my identity as an Asian immigrant. Mostly what I got was hours upon hours of swinging around in hammocks strung on trees with dirty chickens running around me, all of us trying to escape 90 degree weather. And of course, swatting flies. Lots of flies.
It was good to meet my family who are now a group of friendly strangers to me. I left Vietnam when I was so young and my mom's generation of siblings have mostly passed so I met a whole village of cousins old enough to be uncles and aunties. They received us with warm hospitality and made the stay slightly more comfortable - as comfortable as one can get while bathing using a bucket of water and a scoop. It does save much more water that way when you are only allowed 5 gallons to shower with, half of which had to be heated in a kettle. Makes a person think twice about taking 30 minute hot showers.
Before stepping out of the house, we would spray all natural mosquito repellent made from lemon and eucalyptus (typical me) then a layer of sun screen. Then fobby hats.
Traffic is crazy in Vietnam. I wasn't allowed to ride the motorbikes, only to sit and pose on it.
My classmate made this banner and surprised our class by sending a photo of himself on Mt. Everest holding the sign. You can't one-up Mt. Everest so I had to find a way to one-equal him. A good chunk of time was spent riding around rice paddies in Hoi An trying to find the perfect "SCU Cohort in Vietnam" photo.
We got lost and the sun was setting but who cares, look at this scenic shit we found.
Getting lost leads to great adventures like finding a farmer walking his water buffalo home for the day and asking him for a photo op. They are shorter than I imagined and their hide is like a dirty wild boar with thick sparse hair.
Beach days! They don't let you swim further than 50 meters(?) out from shore. Water was cold anyway.
Is it possible to look fobby if you technically are not fresh off a boat?
We spent Valentine's day in my cousin's backyard swinging on hammocks while my mom chatted for hours with her family. Until I noticed this luminous arachnid dangling in the trees above. Very fuckin romantic.
Went to a bird flu petting zoo.
Some cute Vietnamese chick Phil met.
She gave him a little present.
My cousins were really entertained by making Phil do girly poses.
Rice paddy tour