Vietnam holiday in fotos part 1

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4266 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”IMG_4266″ /></a>

Uncle Ho says, “Reach out and touch someone”.

This could be long an painful like some relative’s slide show so I’ll spread it out over several days.

I was nastily surprised when the plane landed at Hong kong, since I thought it was going straight to bangkok and that I’d be transferring only once. I had to transfer twice for a flight that going direct only takes four hours. Thanks for letting me know, shoestring travel of Seoul, hongdae. Good job.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4241 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”IMG_4241″ /></a>

A lot of Korean girls got off for Honkers. A good shopping destination. I wouldn’t mind checking it out sometime.

Bangkok airport. Airports are big places that are sometimes busy but most of the time not.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4244 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”IMG_4244″ /></a>


This was the first time I travelled without taking a Lonely Planet book. I used the info from the <a href=””>wikitravel</a> website, which was occasionally useful but basically just as inaccurate as the perpetually out-of-date Lonely Planet books.

Wikitravel said it was 20thou dongs to go to the Mil.Hist museum, correct – but it costs another 20 if you want to use a camera, not 5 as they say.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4251 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”IMG_4251″ /></a>

They made a monument out of shit they’d blown out of the sky. The photo used as the centrepiece seems to be an iconic favourite. It’s of a girl dragging a peice of US jet home along the beach.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4255 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”IMG_4255″ /></a>

The overt militarism would be out of place and easy to criticise in most other places but in Vietnam it’s just part of the scene. For some reason it reminded me of how its okay for black people to call eachother nigger, but not okay for anyone else to call them that.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4257 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”IMG_4257″ /></a>

Lots of propaganda posters. I liked the colours in this one.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4265 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”IMG_4265″ /></a>

Was it worth going to the the military history museum? Yeah. It was okay. As they say, the victors write the history and the message from the place is very much that the Vietnamese people have kicked out anyone who’s attempted to take over the joint.

*   *   *

The only American chain restaurant I saw in the whole of Hanoi was one low-profile looking KFC. Maybe this one got the nod because Col. Sanders bears something of a resemblance to Uncle Ho.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_4279 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”IMG_4279″ /></a>

*Also see <a href=””>Vietnam holiday fotos part 2</a>*.

In rod we trust

Right now I’m Putting out more heat than a fresh nuclear fuel rod. We went to the beach and I was out in the water for just over an hour total. The crazy thing is I had sun block on most of me but it mustve washed off. I swear the sun is at least twice as strong as when I was a kid. And I am now seeing how pale a complexion I really have since moving out of Aust. It looks like it’s strictly post-sunset swimming for me from now on. So nice to swim at a decent beach too compared to the usual grotty pools I’m limited to.

Been in hoi an for four days now. The tourist composition is basically Australians and french. I’ve been tempted to have a bit of fun with them by sticking a hand in the front of my shirt while strolling around nonchalantly but actually the euro accents are refreshing after all the nAmerican ones at work.

You know a couple of months ago at lunch-work I asked what was up with The Pig in Korea since it was really starting to bite in aust. But they said swine *what*? and I wondered if it was just because the media-govt was covering it up the way they like to. It just hadn’t hit there yet. Now it has. A couple of people have croaked, the media have got a hold of it and now everyones freaking out. Foreigners like me coming back into the country are especially suspect despite the fact I’m healthier now than I have been for months thanks to a relaxing holiday and despite the sunburn. I have to go to the uni nurse to get checked out when I get back and they’re delaying the start of semester by one week because of the large contingent of Chinese students it has. The burn heat should have subsided by then but if it hasn’t the infrared cameras at the airport are going to make me look like something from _Alien vs Predator_.

I’m only drivin

Currently in hoi an on the central coast of Vietnam. It’s pretty much the same as I remember it. Things are a little more expensive. They used to have this mineral water in a glass bottle but I can’t find it anywhere now. Also the last time I was here I saw several of these unvonstructed dump trucks–the front didn’t have any cover. Haven’t seen any of them.

Hello. Autobike.

Yesterday when the touts looked at me and tried running their line selling their services or wares I fixed them with an expression so brimming with mania that they would say no more. Today not so much.
I’m embracing my inner boy. Yesterday the military museum. Today the airforce “museum”. It was a parking lot with a bunch of old rusting aircraft. They had the most humungous helicopter but. And for sheer rock n roll aesthetics and lines you can’t beat 1960s MiGs. Certainly better than anything the US imperialists came out with in that era. Fotos to follow.


Wow. It took two transfers and all day just to get from incheon to Hanoi. I’m getting better at using the tiny keyboard on the iPod touchy. It’s been pretty neat –every airport I’ve been through (4 today) has had accessible wireless.

There was a bunch of Indians on the bonkers to Bangkok leg. My goodness! What a jollylot they were. It sounded like they had a comedian and an audience of about ten hearty laughers back there.

the crossroads

Y’know I’ve never been a huge fan of Gibson guitars, and the few occasions I come across a foto of the 1950s Les Paul man on the internet I’m struck by the unassuming look he had. I know it was the 50s and all that jazz, but I would mistake him for an accountant. If there had ever been anyone who seemed like they really did sell their soul to the devil for fame, I used to think it was that guy, but then it doesn’t really make sense that he’d only be playing jazz.

<img src=”” width=”282″ height=”400″ alt=”les paul n mary ford” />

Anyway, goodbye dude. You really were an amazing player and inventor. I’ll be really grateful if my hands work well enough to still be playing when I’m 94. Here is a mini-doco on your life. Okay I’m off to btjunkie to see if I can d/load some of yours and Mary Ford’s 50s jazz stuff. It sounds sweet.

<object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=””></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>

*   *   *

While we’re on guitar stuff, I haven’t been buy much lately, but I did get a small pack of <a href=”″>v picks</a> aka plectrums. Initially one would baulk at the price that averages out to three buck US for one pick – a piece of plastic afterall, but hey whatever — I gave it a try and wasn’t disappointed.

I had been using a really thing (0.50 mm) pick for the last year, so to begin with the vpick felt way chunky – but it’s really nimble too. The thing I noticed first was how much louder the guitar sounded when playing unplugged. Also the thickness seems to encourage harder strumming which is not a bad thing.  Also, the pick is something that’s always used – so $3, at least the way I see it, pays for itself quickly compared to other things I’ve bought for 100 that I only use now ad then.

VN in 1 week.

<img src=”” width=”411″ height=”500″ alt=”Samuel_Johnson_by_Joshua_Reynolds” />

_Samuel Johnson getting his tic on_

The English studies subjects this semester are kicking my arse. The amount of work expected has increased dramatically. There’s things needing to be written sever times each week. It’d be more do-able if this was my normal working semester also but that doesn’t start til Sept. Right now I’m doing a three week stint teaching kiddies, which is mostly stress-free, but it takes up the lion’s chunk of each day.

Totally interesting is that there’s a kid in my class that’s got Tourette Syndrome. For a day or two I just thought he was being a pain in the arse, but with a bit of carrot n stick tactics he straightened up and started doing the work. When they’re all hunkered down and doing their fake test each day he’d make these odd little noises, and his writing arm twitches bordering on spasms.

I looked up the wikipedia page on T.S. just on a hunch and yep – it describes ‘Richard’ very well. Appararently most cases are very mild and not like what hollywood portrays. And mostly it goes away by late adolescnce – I hope that happens for the dude, because folks in this country don’t look too kindly on even very mild forms of weirdness.

I can see he has days where he’s more focussed and others where its all hangin’ out, today being the latter, but he was still able to answer questions when I asked and then start ticcing out when I was talking to others. It was more than just an arm tic — today it included facial. There were a few strange moments where I think he’d figured out something was up and that I was cool with it because he’d look at me with a blank expression flick to a buck-tooth grin or some other spazzy expression. cool.

<div align=”center”>*  *   *</div>

I’m way late in posting this but I’m off to Vietnam this time next week. A few days in Hanoi then down to Hoi an. Am wanting to get some more clothes made, and wanting to fully ham it up on the eccentric side. Think I’ll go for a powder blue suit and another full safari suit but apart from that am not too sure — and especially having a hard time finding fotos of such outfits on the innernet. *If anyone could supply me with interesting pics, or even better, put me in touch with Dave Grainey I’d be much obliged.*

morgan changari

<img src=”” width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”feminism” />

YS: Why is it that when I wake between dreams at 4am the first thing my brain thinks is your name, Morgan Changari?

Morgan Changari: Maybe it’s because you love me.

YS: I think it’s because I’ve been watching the news too much.

Morgan Changari: Melinda Ogden.

YS: Morgan Changari, Russian tanks are rolling into Georgia.

Morgan Changari: Vesna Nazor.

YS: Morgan Changari, I’ve never thought much about Africa. It’s a big place. It’s a funky place.

Morgan Changari: Do tell.

YS: The South African trades unions were protesting tonight and it was the most in-tune, rhythmic group of trade unionists I’ve ever seen.

Morgan Changari: Certainly.

YS: Morgan Changari, the Sydney trade unionists were protesting on the news the night before and in comparrison they looked mentally handicapped.

Morgan Changari: disabled.

YS: Morgan Changari, isn’t the phrase, “power sharing” an oxymoron?

Morgan Changari: a defense of poetry

YS: I’m entering the food chain.

Morgan Changari: Vesna.    Nazor.

YS: I hæt those Israel.

Morgan Changari: I løve those Uighur.

YS: I have to say the way that small payments are asked for small pieces of software for the ipod touchy/iphone is ingenious. I don’t know about you, Morgan Changari, but I’m more inclined to pay for something small if the price is small, whereas I wouldn’t pay a large price for something like microsoft word.

Morgan Changari: Pirates off the Somali coast.

YS: The two I’ve found worth paying for so far are <a href=”″>files</a> and <a href=””>Wifitrak</a>.

Morgan Changari: <object width=”425″ height=”344″><param name=”movie” value=””></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”344″></embed></object>