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!