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28 December 2016 @ 07:29 pm
Fun facts about Saigon to know and tell: (from Mom)

1. The name means "the land of the kapok tree." Since I have no idea what a kapok tree looks like, I cannot verify this factoid.

Saigon spelled backwards is "traffic" in Vietnamese. Ok, I made that up. However, Saigon is home to 12 million people and 7 million motor scooters. I did not make that up, and it appears that all 12 million people are on the scooters at the exact same time, as multiple people are seated in each scooter. I am using the word "seated" in a figurative rather than literal way, as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, dogs, and laundry cling perilously to every surface of every scooter. However, they all wear helmets. Note: Not the dogs or the laundry

And everyone on a bike seems to wearing a surgical mask. Either they're all germ phobic, or they know something about the air here that I want to know...and fast.

2. Breakfast
The hotel offers the typical American breakfast, slightly askew as always in foreign countries. This involved Cocoa puffs, corn flakes, omelet stations, bread, gray cold cuts, and croissants --and no doubt some US executive's fallacious ideas of a typical asian breakfast -- pork dumplings, rice, chicken, more rice, salad, more rice, but this time called "broken rice!" (Rice whose kernels gave accidentally been crushed -- who knew? Or cared, for that matter. )

3. Vietnam is not winning Miss Fabulous Landscaping (take that, Central Park)
The Vietnamese countryside reminded me of a Faulknerian antebellum South, but with a lot of car repair shops.