Saturday, November 22, 2008

Teacher's Day

There are some things about Hanoi that I just don't like and I'll never get used to. For example, the traffic. How bad is it? It's bad enough that sometimes I have time to take my camera out of my pocket and take pictures while I'm slowly working my way through an intersection.
The only thing that I've come across so far that's really frightened me was this. Notice anything strange?... All that tape and NONE OF IT IS DUCT TAPE! Dear sweet Lord, what kind of godless heathens don't have duct tape?! If duct tape isn't holding their society together WHAT IS!?!?!

Not as scary, but twice as funny is the fact that Vietnamese people get cold when temps drop below 75˚ F. This is one of the students at the language center where I teach in the evenings. She's all bundled up and ready to head home after class. I checked the temp online just before I took this and it was 70˚.Though, she does have snacks in both hands. Which is kind of nice.

Another nice thing they have here is Teacher's Day. It's a pretty serious holiday for these folks. They give gifts to teachers and some people even visit old teachers to pay their respects. I got a couple of plates from two of my favorite students at Blue Dragon.(I made the aluminum foil candle holder myself. If you like it, make me an offer.)

And I got flowers from a couple of my other students. Which was pretty nice.The whole thing reminded me of one of the teachers that made a big difference in my life back in the day, so I decided to get into the spirit of the holiday and send her a little thank you email.

So just when I get annoyed with some of the less attractive elements of life in Hanoi, something like teacher's day comes along and makes me really appreciate the place and the people.

And the food's pretty good too.


Juji said...


Thought you may have drowned. Reminds me of when Dorothy Parker was in Venice and cabled Robert Benchley:

"Streets flooded. Please advise"


what fun you're having, teach.

But we have OBAMA and did you hear the speech? Ahhhhhhh. Sweet days.



Seth said...

I did hear the speech. Or, at least most of it. It made me a little homesick, but proud too. No longer am I tempted to say yes when people ask if I'm Canadian.

The whole thing has really given me a sense of how much the rest of the world looks to the US for leadership. For better or worse, we have a lot of responsibility.

Hoai Trang said...

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Now I know why my previous blog is different from your blog.
Visit mine!
Hope you like the picture.

Jim said...

The traffic picture makes me feel a little better about LA traffic. But not much.

Jim said...

Is some guy biking/motoring/whatever while carrying a computer in his lap??

Seth said...

You mean the guy that's sort of underlit? No. He's just right in front of someone's headlight.