Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Steve Is A Much Better Blogger Than Me

I shouldn't have given out Steve's blog site since he's clearly a better blogger than I am. He updates his blog every single day, has more pictures than I do and even stole my #1 fan--my mother. My mom emailed me this morning raving about Steve's blog. What the hell! 

For those of you who haven't seen this picture yet on Steve's blog, this is from last night. Steve said hi to a few girls while we were walking along the Perfume River and then I began to practice my Vietnamese with them. They barely spoke English and we barely speak Vietnamese so it made for a really fascinating conversation. Mid "conversation" I interrupted one of the girls and said, "WHOOOAAAH! Does you're shirt say 'I love cumming?'" Indeed that is what the shirt said.  The girl didn't understand my question and frankly had no idea that her shirt was a lude, sexual reference. We asked to take pictures with her and she was more than happy to oblige thinking her shirt just said something really really clever. Anyway, we had to quickly leave the girls to meet some British girls for dinner (yeah, I know, boring. Who hangs out with Brits while in Asia?). We said goodbye to the four locals and did what any rational man would do after meeting a girl who wears a "I Love Cumming" shirt--we asked her and her friends to coffee today.

Besides being an utterly ridiculous story, this just goes to illustrate my point from the previous blog that some people out here can speak English but can't read or write. In this case, the girl couldn't speak, read or write. 

The Future Mrs. August III: My First Date

(PICTURE: Thuy cutting right to the chase)

It finally happened--I had my first date with a local girl. I met Thuy where I usually meet girls --not the internet -- at a tailor shop. She asked me to buy a suit and I said, "no. I just want a shirt." Behind her look of disappointment was something else, the look of love at first site. 

Thuy is a sweet 26 year old girl whose family owns Peace tailor shop in Hoi An. Immediately upon her measuring me with a ruler I knew I would eventually have to ask her out; she was the first girl ever to look impressed after holding a ruler up to me. 

Despite only ordering a couple t-shirts from the tailor shop, I kept finding myself meandering into the store to talk to Thuy and her sisters/cousins. In between the girls asking me over and over to order a suit, I found out that Thuy was single. I also found out a few other things from her cousin:
1. Her cousin dated her now husband for 2 1/2 months before she kissed him. 
2. Her cousin didn't sleep with her husband until they were married. 
3. Most girls, at least the girls in the shop and some others I've talked to, have only had one boyfriend their whole lives. They meet someone, date them and marry them. No playing the field.
4. Thuy has NEVER had a boyfriend which probably means she's never kissed a guy. AWESOME!

Thuy asked to look at my cell phone and I told her to take my number. She immediately called me so I would have her number too and then I promptly texted her, "What time should we come over for dinner with your family?" Thuy thought it was funny (and probably weird) and wrote me back an hour later, "Sorry my mum busy." I then saw my golden opportunity and asked her to breakfast.  Game on! 

The next morning I woke up at 5AM feeling excited about my date...and since I've been waking up at 5AM every day for some reason. I had time to burn so I went online to see what the Bruins score was...and it wasn't good. By the time I was ready to leave for my date the Bruins had lost 5-0. It was probably a sign that it was going to be a rough morning. 

I picked Thuy up at her shop and we walked next door to a cafe so we could be near the store if her cousins/sisters need her. Thuy started to look at the menu and said to me, "This is the first time I ever eat a Western breakfast." This may seems shocking but really the more you travel in Vietnam outside of the major cities the more you realize every hotel and bar is basically for tourists only. It also wasn't shocking since Thuy has never left a 20 mile radius of her home. Yes, the farthest she has ever gone IN HER LIFE was to Da Nang just thirty kilometers north. (This is amazing to me and is very very common here. Kalak, see "The Future Mrs. August II" had never been to the bottom of the mountain she lived on!). Well, I told Thuy we could go somewhere else if she wanted but she wanted to try the breakfast. In truth I was slightly disappointed because I already prefer eating beef pho for breakfast than traditional American breakfast. Anyway, I started to skim through the menu when I noticed that Thuy wasn't really looking at her menu. It then occurred to me--she can't read. Like many people who deal with tourists in Asia, Thuy can speak quite well but can't read a word. I then promptly began to read her some breakfast choices and she told me to "choose for her." I ordered two different types of omelets that both sounded good to me...and I thought she might like. 

As we waited for the food and I began to sip on a carbonated water (they brought me the wrong drink but I didn't want to complain) I saw Thuy's cousin run out from the shop and frantically wave over at us. I pointed out her cousin to Thuy and she told me she'd be right back. She got up from the table and sprinted over to Peace. I waited patiently for her to come back...and then waited some more...and then some more...and then some more. About ten minutes passed before I thought, "This couldn't be any worse." Well just then this drunk a-hole strolls into the cafe, sits down with some friends and basically screams, "THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER. MY TEAM JUST WON GAME 7." The dick was a Montreal Canadians fan. I then had to listen as he recapped the whole series to his friends who clearly couldn't care. It was torture. What was even more torturous was that the food arrived and I was starving. I tried to wait for Thuy but my stomach was growling and I wasn't sure if she was coming back. So I did what any gentleman would do--I cut both our omelets in half and split them on the plates. I figured Thuy would want to try both omelets...and I really wanted some of each.  After staring at the food for another few minutes I texted Ryan who was nearby making a call to his parents: "Want an omelet? I have an extra." Ryan didn't write back so I started to eat. I finished my plate and was about to eat Thuy's too when she ran out of the shop and back to the cafe. She apologized, sat down, and with a look of utter confusion/puzzlement/wonder looked at her plate and inspected the two omelets as if there were some strange foreign substance in front of her. Her expression was how I felt I looked whenever I saw cockroaches on sticks on China. Thuy stabbed the omelet with a knife, tasted a tiny little piece and said to me, "You can have half of mine." She gave me the mushroom and cheese omelet and told me, "This one would make me fat." Man, girls are the same everywhere.