Monday, November 17, 2008

Into the Jungle

This last weekend I went to Cuc Phuong National Forest with a dozen other nice folks. We rented a bus and were headed for a stilt house in the forest.
The stilt house wasn't exactly what I expected. The "stilts" were concrete, and there was a restaurant in the base. There were also around a hundred young college kids. Hanging out on the garbage-strewn grounds.Some of them asked me if I could speak Vietnamese, and when I managed to say, "I'm an American." in Vietnamese they actually cheered. They couldn't have been sweeter. Which made it all the easier for me to scoop them up and carry them off to my cave, where I gobbled them up like popcorn. We went on a 7k walk around the forest, saw some beautiful scenery...
and got to act like Tarzan.That night there were not one, but two bonfires. At some point a girl from the school group grabbed me and brought me to a coconut or something that was lying on the ground full of straws and who knows what else. I put my lips on one of the straws to mime a drink and thanked her. The next day we saw a cave, a monkey sanctuary, a turtlearium (I just made that word up) a pagoda, and a church. There was a tight spot in the cave that was a kind of exciting.At the turtletory (probably not a real word either), we came across one of these really cool walking sticks. and then accidentally stepped on it.Kind of brings a new meaning to that whole "Leave nothing but footprints" thing.

We found a secret lair where we could take a break for lunch, make evil plans,...get a Flintstones style workout...and watch a preying mantis have a post-coital snack.The last stop before sunset was a 17th century Catholic pagoda/cathedral.Seeing the temple dogs replaced with saints, and the dragons replaced with crosses was pretty fascinating. The buildings and grounds were beautiful and they knew how to draw a crowd too. The evening mass was standing room only.


Seth said...

In other news...

My friend Bob found this article:

And so far I have a bunch more volunteers to send postcards back from the States than I have kids to send them. I'll be sending out more as they write them.

But I want postcards too! I moved to a new house and the walls of my new room are bare. So if you want a postcard from me, send one to

Seth Fisher
208/9 Doi Can

Juji said...

Vietam? Can that be right? And how much does it cost to send a PC? Try prying that info out of the US Postal Service. I tried and the behemoth behind the desk with the
huge behind informed me that she was "OFF THE CLOCK!" somehow managed to seem threatening. A pregnant woman in line behind me said that that self-same woman had once made her weep. this is the Irving Park PO where when they get tired of delivering mail they toss it in garbage cans in another zip code.

Mike is well and started rehearsal for "Macbeth." He's playing one of the three witches and also the Gate Keeper and a cocktail waitress with boobs and high heels. Theatre here in Chicago is becoming stranger and stranger.

I like you more than ever.

Send info!


Seth said...

They just changed the name of the country to "Vietam" for that one day. It's back to "Vietnam" now, so you'll want to use that. These communists move quick with their policies. You can do that when you skip the democratic process.

So far, you're my only interested postcard correspondent. I think I'm just going to start sending some out to see if I can't guilt people into sending some back my way.