In my last entry, I accidentally failed to upload the last picture, which would explain the title, “Bring your own toilet paper”:
Public toilets in Vietnam range from a hole in the ground that may or may not flush (at a lot of bus stations) to standard dirty ones with no toilet paper (at shopping areas) to fancy, clean ones (at high-end malls). This sign belonged to the middle range.
Anyway, we arrived back in Ho Chi Minh City the night before Christmas Eve.
This is the hotel we spent most of our vacation in:
Both of our two hotels don’t change our sheets or covers, unless you emphatically request them to. The only thing they change are the bath towels. This one was a decent one, as you can tell from its ban on prostitutes:
I wish I could say the same for most of the “hotels” in our neighborhood, but most of them charge you per hour of your stay, if you know what I mean.
We went out for breakfast at one of those Vietnamese fast food-entree places.
Then we went here to buy more souvenirs and maybe get my brother a cheap “leather” jacket (no such luck):
There was this sign of what to do in case of a fire. I thought it was funny but my brother didn’t. According to the sign, in case of a fire, you’re supposed to sound the alarm, go to the fuse/electrical box and turn off the electricity, then you go put out the fire yourself, AND THEN you call the emergency 114 number. Maybe I’m naive, but normally I thought the first thing is to call Emergency (911).
Then we went over to my aunt’s husband’s sister’s relative’s house for a Christmas eve afternoon lunch-dinner (linner? dunch?). They had two tables set up exactly like this (I of course sat at the kids’ table):
By the way, I’m fascinated by the Christmas and New Year sodas that Coca-cola and Pepsi put out in Asia:
All the sodas here taste weird, like a different kind of sweet. My brother said it’s the replacement of high-fructose corn syrup with real sugar, but I don’t know…I’ve had Danish and Mexican coke before and I don’t remember it tasting like this.
Oh and I just realized what I just typed. Har har.
That night my brother and I went downtown to join all of my aunt’s husband’s young relatives. Because apparently the Christmas Eve tradition over here is to go down downtown and clog the streets, doing nothing in particular:
We finally decided to stop and have late night munchies at an overpriced cafe. This is my durian ice cream, right here. I love durian, but very few other people I do, I guess:
My brother’s caramel, and my cousin’s green tea sundaes:
Then we went around taking more pictures, but this time of us:
Oh and these following pictures were taken on a different date, but since they’re of downtown Christmas decorations, I’ll just throw these in there as well:
Oh and I posted this on Facebook earlier, but this is a very cute, but worrisome picture, especially on a crowded day like Christmas Eve:
The kid at one point turned over to me and smiled, but I didn’t have my camera out.