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2008 Trip

Journal of our trip July - August 2008

Friends old and New

China Beach Danang

Fishing in Danang

Hoi An

Mui Ne

Mekong Delta

The Alley

Around Saigon

Park, Water Puppets, Circle Sportif

Ben Thanh Market at Night

Cholon Market

Ana Mandara - Dalat

Church of Saint Marie - Dalat

Crazy House - Dalat

Around the University - Dalat

Around Dalat

 

Friends, New and Old
As always some of the nicest experiences I have in Vietnam is meeting people. New friends and old friends. Sometimes I meet and talk for a while and some times we go places and do things together and I see them trip after trip. A lady that I met in2001 was selling pastries in the Tax Store. In 2003 she had moved to security and I saw her again and also in 2006. This trip I was in the Tax Store grocery store and as I got in line she was there bagging. She smiled and we said hello. She talked to her friends and I suppose she told them that I show up every few years and say hello.


One of my favorite new friends is Loan who manages the hotel Thuan Duc. Her and her husband own the hotel and lease one other 5 doors up the alley. Often I would find Loan working on her English which is very good and we would discuss English and Vietnamese. We would discuss Idioms and metaphors and we would have such a good time. English and Vietnamese are both difficult languages and also both are very interesting.


A very nice hotel that is only a short walk from De Tham Street. If you stay here call ahead and reserve room 101. It is one flight up and in the front with a balcony and a nice view of the alley. Air conditioning is available. The alley is noisy till late which I like however if you like quieter there is a room at the back which also has a balcony on a smaller alley and is airy yet quieter. If you stay here tell them Henry Bechtold sent you. She will also know me as the big flower.

Van Anh and her sister, Kim Anh.. Van Anh and I met through my web site and have written often over the course of the last two years.

The three of us had dinner one night at one of the restaurants around Ben Thanh Market. This was our meal served on an alcohol burner at the table.

A friend in the USA, named Tam, has a sister in Vietnam, named Thao, whose husband, Named Martin, is a teacher in the World Foriegn Language Center and Martin introduced me to Mr Pham, who is the director of the school. Mr Pham invited me to sit in on several classes and many meetings with his teachers. It was a very informative and enjoyable time. This is Mr Pham addressing the students at the beginning of their classes.

The students are given some drill before going to their classes.
Tram, Sister Agnes and Chau
I have known Chau since she was seven and selling roses outside the Rex. I met Tram who used to be known by her nick name, Chuot, in 2007. She is Chau's little sister. This year I meet Sister Agnes. She is principal of the school where Chau and Tham attend and live.

Miss Dung
Nguyen Thi Uy Nho
Hoa is her nick name, it means flower. She lives in the maze of alleys to the West of De Tham Street. She went with me to the Circus, which I wanted to see and also to the Water Puppets. She also introduced me to the concert which we saw several times. Many of the acts have performed in the USA and in Europe and also recorded. She also took me to a movie one day. That was another thing I had wanted to see. It was interesting to see a movie with Vietnamese subtitles. Hoa got us some snacks, some peanuts and dried Octopus. She also introduced me to her friends who also lived in the system of alleys. They were all very nice people and so interesting that I spent time sitting with them and talking at the home of one or another.

Hoa and I went to the Zoo one day and here she is feeding snacks to the Elephants. Hoa is a very sweet and pleasant person. It is fun going places and doing things with her.