Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ga Ran Kentucky

Alternate title: Milling about in District 7.

We had a very full day today - two school visits, then a four-hour fair in a hotel not too far (but not really close) to our hotel. We arrived early at the second school visit, which was in District 7, Saigon South (the school was the Saigon South International School) and were kicked off the bus but unable to enter the school. Security is VERY tight in these places where the families have lots of money -- my interpreter at the IIE fair later that day told me that Saigon South is the richest part of the whole city, and it looks like it.

So we wandered down the street, 25 Americans looking for someplace to get out of the oppressive heat. A few of us split off from the main group and wound up what was hands-down the coolest place to be: the local KFC, called here "Ga Ran Kentucky." I opted for a Diet Pepsi (called Pepsi Light in Asian, as Diet Coke is called Coke Light) in a can as I did have some gastro-intestinal upset here last year).

You know you're in the rich part of town when you start seeing dogs as pets, and the really rich part of town when you see a dog-grooming shop.

Others from our group went to the Viking Family Restaurant (whether that's a Viking restaurant for families or a family restaurant for Vikings wasn't entirely clear).

What was clear is that there were many meaty treats to be had at the Viking Family Restaurant.

This is our tour guide for Ho Chi Minh City, Thanh. He was a great guy, very knowledgeable and articulate. He even invited us our for beers with him and his friends (I don't know if anyone from our group took him up on it).

Obligatory shot of the jaw-dropping traffic in HCMH.

Obligatory shot of a traditional street vendor, this one selling grapes.

Obligatory shot of the truly terrifying phenomenon that is electrical and telephone wiring in HCMC. The amazing thing here is that there's actually a guy up there working in the tangle of cables. How they know what goes where and how you find someone who's actually willing to go up there and touch any of it is beyond me.

We left our hotel at 7am, took an interminable bus ride to the airport, landed in Kuala Lumpur around 1pm and headed directly to the University Fair at our hotel via another interminable bus ride. Got into my room around 8:30pm and have to check out tomorrow morning at 7:30am. We have a full day of school visits tomorrow and then fly to Hong Kong in the evening. Scheduled to arrive at our hotel in HK around midnight, then off on the bus to school visits at 6:30 am the following day. As you might imagine, we're not exactly happy campers right now, but everyone seems to be hanging in there, and this is the toughest week in terms of our schedule. Have an afternoon off on Friday in HK, hope to go to the Stanley Market (didn't make it there last year). Will post when I can!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Wow, what a schedule!
Sounds like you are taking care of yourself tho to prevent problems.
Incredible tangle of wires and lines. Cannot believe anyone would touch it. Hope he is paid well and has good life insurance (do they have that? or is that a USA thing?)

Enjoy your day off. It will be much deserved.