Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ahoy Hanoi Thanks Steve Song


(PICTURE: Steve and I at the snake village)

For weeks I've been secretly composing a blog entry to post when Steve left. Being a pacifist I didn't want any awkward confrontation after I posted this: "When I first arrived in Vietnam a local told me that the Vietnamese hate Korean people more than people from any other country. I asked why to my local friend but, because of the language barrier, she could not communicate the reason very articulately. That said, after hanging out with Steve for a few weeks I'll never ask why someone would hate a person of Korean decent again. To be fair, I could honestly say I don't hate Steve-- I loathe Steve. I then went on to list 319 reason why it was taking all my internal strength not to smother Steve with one of my $2 pillows in the middle of the night.

However, I'm not going to post that entry because -- to loosely quote Dumb and Dumber -- Steve totally just redeemed himself. Yesterday morning, as he was sitting shotgun in the airport taxi, he had the cab driver roll down his window and called me over. Steve said, "Hey, look on your bedside table. I left you a gift." I assumed he had just left me the same gift he'd been leaving for weeks--toe nail clippings on my floor. However, this time he left me something a little bit better--his digital camera. That's right, Mr. Paparazzi himself left me his camera which has literally been on his body every second for the last couple of months. This was beyond a nice gesture and I, and all Ahoy Hanoi fans, are grateful. This means new pictures will soon be posted with my blogs. So, on behalf of America, thank you Steve Song. (For Steve's version of why he left me his camera I once again direct you to his blog: www.songeruncensored.com).

In other news, I went to the library yesterday and they have exactly 56 fiction book in English. Out of those I've read about half of them already. Now I'm sure you're saying to yourself, "28 book is enough toilet reading to keep you busy for the year, Ben." Well, you're right. The problem is you can't read Vietnamese library books on the toilet. In fact, you can't read Vietnamese library books anywhere except a designated place in the library. Books in Vietnamese libraries can't be taken home with you. Yeah, you have to go there and read. I mean, really? Who reads at the library besides senior citizens?

For Those Of You Who Thought I Was Kidding

video

I'm about to take the final step in becoming a local. Nope, I'm not getting married. It's that other step--I'm getting a library card.

For those of you who are wondering, no the snake didn't sit well.