Sunday, May 15, 2011


(PICTURE: The owner of the restaurant who insisted we were VIPs.)

You may recall that I once wrote there's a funny saying about each province in Vietnam. My two favorites I wrote about in the past were for Hai Phong ("the most beautiful but meanest girls in Vietnam") and for Huyen's province Ha Nah ("9 sweet potatoes become 10 sweet potatoes" about people taking shits off bridges).

Well, I've got a new contender, Thanh Hoa. Thanh Hoa's catch phrase is, "An rau ma, pha duong tau." This translates to, "eat ma vegetable and destroy railroads." Apparently people in Vietnam think that those in Thanh Hoa are only good for those two things.

Well, I've got to disagree. When we pulled into a small town in Thanh Hoa, the locals completely laid out the welcome mat for us. Huyen and I strolled into a rice shop and before we knew it we were directed into the VIP room by the owner. Of course as soon as we sat down, we were given ma vegetable to eat. The VIP room had a nice fan and a heck of a lot of VIP flies. I'm 99% sure the owner threw us back there so that the other restaurant patrons would stop staring at us and eat their food so he could turn over their tables.