Monthly Archives: February 2012

Vietnam: My last day and entry. Pho and Hello Kitty

This is the last entry about my vacation in Vietnam. It’s about our last day in Vietnam and our flight back. I’ve noticed something about how I write travel blogs: when I start out on the trip, I am usually a lot snarkier. By the end of the trip, I’m usually just like, “Here this is it. This is what happened. The end.” But I’ll try.

During our stay in that country, we had many bowls of pho in Vietnam. On our last day, my mom wanted to take us to a fancy “Westernized” one so we went downtown to a place called Pho24, where the bowls are about $4 USD, which is expensive by Vietnamese standards.

The reason I say it’s Westernized? The menu included a page full of positive reviews from publications like Asia Forbes, the New York Times, and the Guardian Observer:

I disagree with the reviewers from Forbes Asia and the New York Times. Pho is definitely not street food. Street food, to me, is something you eat with your hands as you’re haggling over counterfeit Louis Vuitton or yelling at a moped rider who ran you over your foot. Pho is sit-down-at-a-table food. When was the last time you saw a pho food truck? And some of the other reviewers…calling pho an elegant ballet? I think they must have had a bit too much MSG in their pho, if you know what I mean.

This was my bowl of pho. Honestly I wasn’t that wowed by it, it tasted like one of the typical ones we have in California:

Then we got back to our hotel, finished packing and brought our luggage to the airport.

All the planes we took during the trip looked like this:

If there was an inch of legroom available, I didn’t know where it was. I wanted to throw up on our flight back, not because of the turbulence, but because I only had like five inches around my face to breathe. Economy class sucks, and I hate how the entrance is through the business class area so you get your hopes up when you see those nice seats and then you hear the flight attendants saying, “No, keep going. Keep going. All the way to the back. There, you see those cozy seats? Make sure to keep your legs and arms closed or you won’t fit, tee hee.”

We had a three-hour layover at Taiwan’s Taoyuan Airport. This time I had more time to explore the place.

Did you know there’s a whole existing gate dedicated to Hello Kitty?

They have a playground, a gift shop, and even the waiting area chairs in that gate were pink. They really went all out: Hello Kitty payphones, Hello Kitty clocks, Hello Kitty everything. I was going to say something snarky, but Hello Kitty is just too full of lovable cuteness to make fun of.

Then it was time for our flight. On our way back we were asked to watch a cute cartoon sponsored by the TSA about an adorable Snoopy-like dog who comes back to America smuggling illegal fruits that unknowingly carry harmful insects that infest his home, devour his furniture and mercilessly kill and eat everyone in his neighborhood. At the end, the dog realizes it was a nightmare he had during his flight, and so when his plane lands, he does the right thing and gives up all his illegal fruit and thus saving his town from being bloodily devoured.

And thus ends a very memorable trip.

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