Flashy Letters & Special Hair

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City
March 23rd 2006
Published: March 25th 2006EDIT THIS ENTRY

I play it safe the next few days and stick to the sites and restaurants recommended by every backpackers travel bible, the Lonely Planet. I try not to whip it out in public (as if I don’t look like a tourist already), so I spend time in my room studying the maps and names of the streets. The language is really so difficult for me, all of the letters come with accessories meaning they have little accents which range from dots to dashes to squiggly “hats” and pointy shoes, the “D” even has a scarf...and all of them have a different tone. For example, you can say the word MA but depending on the accent and tone it can mean either: ghost, mother, which, rice seedling, tomb, or horse. (?)

I am learning most of my Vietnamese in cafes, since I’m traveling alone, the servers have no problem sitting with me and teaching me some words, actually i think they are just taking pity on me because i "crazy american girl who no have husband" . But they are also trying to learn English so it’s a nice exchange. The cafes seem to be the extent of my social life, and I spend the rest of the time with myself which is most enjoyable. Sitting in the town center yesterday it really hits that there is not one person who knows me within thousands of miles, and no one can reach me (mom, don't read that). This could be considered scary but I considered it peaceful.

In the middle of this thought a young girl from Malaysia sits next to me and tells me in very broken English that my hair is very “special”...I’m not sure if that was a compliment.


25th March 2006

Sherry you know as well as I do that being in the middle of nowhere and knowing no one is scary, but also such an exciting feeling!!!!! Oh your poor mother!!! Don't get sick cause I won't be able to take care of you this time.
26th March 2006

Greetings from Costa Rica
Sherry, I love your stories, thank you for the update. And yes, your hair is beautifully special! PURA VIDA!

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