Monday, August 16, 2010

Immitation Is The Greatest Form Of Flattery


(PICTURE: The August/Zucker middle children's girlfriends.)

Shortly after my cousin Justin visited me in Hanoi, he returned to America and found himself in a relationship with a Vietnamese girl. I can only assume that Huyen's whit, charm, sense of humor and a thousand other qualities I talked about in our marriage interview inspired Justin to look for a similar girlfriend. From all accounts, everyone has told me that Kim, Justin's lady, was indeed a fantastic girl...and this week I got to verify the reports myself.

Kim, who emigrated to America when she was five, is spending about a month in Vietnam visiting family and touring the country. The other night, Kim was in Hanoi and Huyen and I took her out to dinner, dessert and drinks. Kim was as sweet and intelligent as billed by my cousins. I personally found it funny watching Kim and Huyen interact for a few reasons:

1. Kim speaks a southern dialect of Vietnamese which can be quite hard to understand for a northerner. Equally Huyen's northern dialect was a little hard for Kim to understand. Both were hard for me to understand.

2. It was really interesting to listen to things Kim likes as a Vietnamese American woman that Vietnamese girls don't like. For example, Kim's love of the sun...which I need not remind you is not popular here.

3. Since Kim is from the South and Huyen is from the North they inevitably got into a fight. Huyen stabbed Kim with a chopstick and Kim poured scalding hot water on Huyen's legs...okay, that didn't happen. In fact, Kim conceded that she liked Hanoi's pho better than Saigon's pho. This is a huge battle between the two ends of the country and considered blasphemy to betray your home region's pho.

It was great to meet Kim and Huyen and I were excited to hear that she's 50/50 on returning in December for our wedding!

7 comments:

Transcendental Neon Blob said...

Regarding numero uno; It's the accent that varied throughout parts of Vietnam, not dialect.
Tis' a common misconception.

Aunt Donna said...

Great picture of the 2 girls, Ben & sounds like a very special visit. See you in December.....
Love, Aunt Donna

leila said...

Discover your wonderful post by chance. Enjoy reading every post. I'm glad you have found happiness in Vietnam, my homeland. A fan from Vancouver, BC.

leila said...

Sorry, I meant to say " wonderful blog" ^_^

Anonymous said...

cute cute cute! :P

Benjamin said...

Accent not dialect. Got it.

Leila, glad you found the blog and are liking it! Welcome to Ahoy Hanoi!

Justin said...

Ahhhhh but the question still remains: Did Huyen convince Ms. Kim to dare ride a moto in the bustling streets of Hanoi...

Huyen could have shown her how. Kim could have imparted her appreciation for whiskey. Though they shouldn't enjoy whiskey and then ride a moto.