“Beyonce, I’m gon’ let you finish, but this Pomplamoose version of Single Ladies is one of the best versions of all time. . .”
I know it is getting boring to everyone to read how many kilometers I’m riding on my bike, but I am continuing to write about it in part to inspire me to keep doing it. Not that I am going to do it every day – had no intention of doing it again tonight, but Dave asked me if I wanted to go and I figured it was better than sitting around.
We went a completely different route tonight – cut off of Nguyen Van Linh Street in District 7 and found our way to the Phu My Bridge. That’s the big new bridge we went up on a few months ago thanks to my friend Chris’ buddy who was the bridge’s construction manager. It’s open to traffic now and we ride across it – the bridge itself is 2.5 kilometers long and it is probably the highest and longest hill in Saigon.
Then we wound around through District 2, crossed a different bridge back into Binh Thanh District then back into District 1. Rode through downtown and over to Pham Ngu Lao before heading back down through District 4 and back into District 7.
It was nice to change the ride up a bit, but I don’t think we will do it again. Our normal route through the industrial park has a lot less traffic and a lot less pollution, so we’ll probably stick to that from now on – although it was nice to ride across that high bridge.
Thao is back from her English class and reports that it went very well. She’s doing some homework right now. We’ll see how enthusiastic she is after 6 days a week for 3 months, but right now she’s very excited.
I’m going to take a shower and go to bed. That’s how I roll.
I went to get a haircut today at a place near our apartment. A pretty good haircut = 20,000 dong ($1.20). They also had a guy in the barber shop doing ear cleaning. I’ve seen this all over Vietnam but never had it done. Basically you see guys laying back in reclining barber chairs with the ear cleaner guy shining a big spotlight in their ear and putting all kind of medical looking instruments into their ear.
I’ve always been kind of curious but squeamish about it, but today I was feeling emboldened, I guess, because I decided to give it a try. So I lay (laid?) back in the chair and the guy put a towel on my chest with all kind of medieval-looking instruments. A long scalpel looking thing with a thin razor blade on the end, some long metal dental-looking scrapers, etc., and a collection of what looked to be long wooden q-tip swabs with large balls of cotton on the ends.
And for about the next half hour that guy went to town on my ears. It felt pretty good – although I imagine it probably feels better after you’ve done it a few time and have a little more confidence that the guy is not about to shove something straight through your eardrum. And my ears do feel clean.
I was afraid the guy was going to start going “Oh my god you wouldn’t believe how dirty this guy’s ears are, etc.” – since all I’ve ever had done before is the self-administered q-tip cleaning – which is nothing compared to the intensive cleaning I got today. I was just envisioning 38 years of crud lurking somewhere back in my mid-ear. But that didn’t happen – or at least the guy was quiet about it if it did.
Anyway, I think I now have among the cleanest ears in Vietnam.
Thao started her new English class tonight. I hope it goes well. I am about to go on a bike ride. Peace.
It’s Sunday night here – about 9:15pm. Got back an hour or so ago from a nice bike ride. 35 kilometers, which is about 21 miles. It rained on us the whole time – but it was warm out and the rain actually felt kind of nice.
We had a nice weekend. Saturday morning we ran some errands and then just hung out. I watched the movie Goodfellas, which I had not seen in 4 or 5 years. What a great movie. Every time I see it I am reminded how great it really is. Last night Thao went to bed and I stayed up late watching football – watched some of the Georgia Tech vs. UNC game, but it appeared that Tech had that one well in hand, so I watched a little bit of the Tennessee vs. Ohio game (rooting for Ohio) and the LSU vs. Mississippi State game (rooting for LSU). The time difference here really sucks for watching football – or anything for that matter. It’s either very late at night or very early in the morning.
Today I had to work – started grading my negotiations class papers. I’ve got a lot to grade, but it’s more interesting than grading the ComLaw exams -which end up being variations of the same thing over and over again.
Then tonight went on the bike ride and then came back to find out that Thao had cooked a great dinner. Thao is a great cook – she’s been taking lessons at her hotel restaurants, but I think she is also just a natural. Everything she makes is really good.
Tomorrow Thao is starting another English class at a different school. This one will be the most intense class she’s taken – 6 days a week for an hour and a half a day. The school is called the Space School and we have several Vietnamese friends who have studied there and recommended it.
I hope everyone had a nice weekend!
I love the new route we found last night and was feeling like exercising again after a long day. Talked Dave into it and we hit it again. If I keep this up I am going to actually get in shape. Like I’ve said before on this blog, I’ve learned it takes a lot more time to get rid of belly fat at 38 than it did at 28.
Completely unrelated: Two of Thao’s and my favorite movies are the Godfather I and II. I don’t know how this got started but lately I have been talking to Thao in the Marlon Brando Don Corleone accent – but speaking Vietnamese. She thinks it’s hilarious and it does sound pretty funny. I keep making her offers she can’t refuse.
I’m going to take tomorrow off from grading and then go in on Sunday and start grading the negotiations stuff. We’ve got some errands we need to run tomorrow. Including getting my Xbox fixed. It went on the fritz last weekend when I was playing the new Halo 3: ODST game and I wouldn’t let myself get it fixed until after I’d finished grading the ComLaw finals.
With ComLaw, at least. 207 down. Will still have to enter in all of the scores once all of the teachers have marked their questions, but for now it’s on to grading my negotiations course – which should be nearly as difficult as grading ComLaw but you never know.
as most overrated #4 team ever.
Terrible game, Rebels. Just terrible. I don’t understand.
Woke up at 6:30 to watch the Ole Miss vs. South Carolina game. Nearing the end of the first quarter and still scoreless, although Ole Miss is doing a pretty good job moving the football down the field on this series. SC came out with a lot of emotion and is playing well. Hopefully Ole Miss can keep it together, wear SC down, and get it’s offense firing on all cylinders. Ole Miss has gotten off to some slow starts this season – but fortunately has had big finishes. We’ll see.
I’ve got to leave about 9am for a meeting at school. Hopefully the game will be decided one way or the other by then – I’d hate to miss a close finish.
K as in kilometers – not as in thousands. Sadly.
Rode 30 more kilometers with my buddy Dave. We found a very nice ride tonight – ended up in a gated industrial park where there was literally no traffic whatsoever. And it dead-ended right at the 15km mark, which made for a nice turnaround point.
The diet is still going well. Still no coffee. Still no sugar. I had been doing good on no drinking until last night when we went to the going-away dinner for Fred(erique) where I had a margarita and a couple of glasses of wine. Great meal though. I’ve lost about 5 pounds going by the scale and the looser fit of my pants around my waistline. Although if you actually look at the gut hanging over that same waistline, you wouldn’t know that I’d lost an ounce.
41 more ComLaw exams to mark, which I will finish tomorrow. Then on to grading my negotiation class’ end-of-semester essays. Then grade entry. Then I guess I’m done for this semester and can move on to improving the course materials for next semester – for both ComLaw and negotiations. It will actually be nice to be here in town for the semester break vs. traveling. I should be able to get a lot of work done.
Hope everyone is doing well!