From Vietnam with love: it's all about people - Dal Vietnam con amore:la gente soprattutto

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wild Alive Animals for lunch

June 16. I looked at a house today - actually it used to be the Hungarian consulate and therefore has a weird first room with a glass-fronted counter and a big flagpole in front, and is awkward in other ways. Not worth the relatively expensive price ($3,500 a month). Plus it's on a busy, noisy street. On Monday I'm going to look at some places in the rich suburbs, where we could rent a four room villa with pool for the same price. We’re unsure about living out there in the ex-pat ghetto, but are also unsure about living in the noisy trafficky city with no place for Maia to play, so hopefully we’ll find some sort of compromise... Anyway, the shipment of our furniture will be delayed by another month, perhaps, so even though that's annoying it gives us more time to find a house.

Meanwhile, I've been venturing out with Maia in the morning and returning around lunchtime to go to the pool or play area. Then I go to the gym and do email while Maia naps, then cook while she watches cartoons on TV, or we both watch cartoons until Marco comes home and we go out to eat. Not such a bad routine.

Yesterday we went to the fine arts museum, which is in a crumbling grand old art deco-style building, with lots of full-length windows with shutters letting in the breeze. There was an exhibit of children's art, some of it suspiciously too good (as if the teachers really drew the pictures), but some with disturbing war-related themes, such as children with Agent Orange-caused defects. There was also some fun Communist style sculpture of Workers and Families, and some very interesting ancient art from past civilizations. Some of itlooked surprisingly Egyptian in style. The museum also houses art galleries, and in one there was a painting that I liked very much, but it costs $4,000. I think it's worth it, but I suppose first we have to set up our house and see where it would go.

We had lunch in a restaurant near the museum, a huge place that featured a giant buffet, but I opted to order from the menu since only Maia was hungry. The place is also a brew pub - it makes a beer called Big Man. And the waiters go around in roller skates. Andthey have VERY STRANGE things on the menu, such as bat, cobra and gecko, listed in a category called Wild Alive Animals, which made me wonder if those animals were being kept in cages somewhere. I ordered the safe-sounding noodles with beef, but before they brought that they gave me a cup with a raw egg floating in something that looked likecondensed milk. Needless to say I didn't drink it, Asian bird flu and all, and I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings by rejecting the special delicacy that they kindly offered. The beef and noodles also included shrimp, calamari and beef liver which Maia ate enthusiastically. I was just happy to see her eating, since she'd been mostly sticking to milk since we got here.


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