Monday, May 16, 2011

Warning: Beards scare children

(PICTURE: A common reaction to my beard.)

The first time I met Viet Huong, my nephew, I learned an important lesson: Beards scare children in Vietnam. At that time, I had a solid scruff working, nothing compared to the full-on beard I've been sporting during the motorbike trip.

A lot of children have looked at me with pure puzzlement as if to say, "Why isn't that monkey behind bars at a zoo?" Some kids have even smiled at me and waved. However, those responses always change the second I get within five feet. Once I get close, well the fear starts. I can't tell you how many little kids cried on this trip because their mothers tried having them meet me.

The kid in the picture above was at a motorbike repair shop we stopped at to fix a flat tire. At first he was about ten feet away with his older sister. The two of them were staring at me, completely transfixed. I decided to go over and sell hello to them which got this little one absolutely wailing.

I just hope my one day half Vietnamese kids aren't petrified of daddy if he doesn't shave for a week or two!