06 October 2005


I got a call from one of my real estate agent/friends, telling me that he just couldn’t resist the fresh-of-the-boat, (literally) bananas he’d seen on the way to work, had bought some for me, and could he drop by?

When he knocked, I was expecting to see a small bunch of ‘nanners in his hand. But no, he brought me half a tree. “These will last you the whole week,” he said, “just hang them up.” I looked at the very yellow fruit and said, I don’t think so. These are already ripe. “No problem, they’ll last.” So I hung them up.

These are my favorite type. They are only 3-4 inches long, (I just measured), and have a really tangy taste. But even the big ones, like you get in the US, have a radically different flavor here. Or rather, they have flavor. I’d forgotten how good they are.

After I suspended the branch in the kitchen, we sat down to talk. He asked if I had any free time to meet with his sister, who just started the University. He figured she could teach me Vietnamese, while practicing her English. I have nothing but time these days, so of course said yes.

My new teacher arrived at 2:00, and we spent the next two hours teaching each other our languages. More precisely, she taught Vietnamese, and I helped very little with her English. If I could ever speak her language half as well as she speaks mine, I’d be thrilled. We will meet again on Saturday. In the mean time, I need to sit down and practice.

Tomorrow I will head back into town to my old supermarket, which turns out to be one of the biggest in HCMC. (not taking into account the warehouse type stores that they have somewhere in the outskirts.) I am breaking down and buying a pot and pan and an iron and some more things for the house. I simply can’t stand one more day of popping open a can of tuna and cutting up a carrot, and eating it with crackers as I have been doing for more than three weeks. At least where I was living before, I ate rice.

And I am forewarning all that this blog may have some ads posted on it in the near future. I’ll get paid for doing so, although I don’t see how it could possibly add up to much income. (one gets paid by the number of viewers to the blog). However, I want DSL and a CD player, so am very willing to ho my words out to corporate America to achieve these goals.

I need a banana.