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Only in Vietnam #10 20 September 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Life, Vietnam.
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Today in our office, the conversation somehow turned to bras.

A Vietnamese colleague of mine was telling my foreign colleague that her bra strap (just visible from underneath her shirt) was old and faded, and that she needed to get a new one or wash this one.

Jumping to my colleague’s defence, I commented that it is not always easy for us Western gals to find bras in our size in Vietnam (which, by the way, is true, and I know people that have been physically pushed out of shops by the owners because there was nothing there to be found for big girls like us).

My Vietnamese colleague proceeds to inform me that *I* might have trouble, but that she was convinced that my friend would not.

It was the twinkle in her eye while she said this that got me – I was laughing for five minutes straight at this thinly veiled insult – yet I am not sure whether it was aimed at my friend or myself.

Oh, I love this particular colleague, she comes out with some real crackers to make my day. Thank you!

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Foot in Mouth Disease 4 September 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Height, Travelling.
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I sometimes forget that not everyone has a mental block, and some people just speak before they think. This is probably the weirdest, yet one of the funniest conversations I have had about my height.

Standing in line at the airport in Sydney, waiting to board my flight, I hear a female voice behind me go;

“You two would have really tall children!”

Choosing to ignore the comment, seeing that this is the last leg of a rather long journey, I smell and I am tired, so in no mood to engage, smile and nod, I don’t even turn around. Some days it’s just not on.

She awkwardly adds;

“Unless you are related!?”

This one being new, we both turn around and start laughing. The person the lady is with is cracking up, and sort of apologetically shakes his head. We laugh, and turn forward again. She, however is on a roll;

“Are you related?”

We laugh some more, and tell her no.

“So you would have tall babies! … Not that you have to have babies or anything…”

Laughingly, we go through to our seats, incredulous. Yet as she walks past to go to her seat, she yet again talks to us, saying;

“Sorry, I wasn’t trying to be rude, I just meant that you were both tall and if you were to have children, they would also be…”

At which stage the guy she was with, still laughing, coaxed her onwards down the aisle away from us.

I’ve never met anyone quite that insistent on telling me I am tall before.

Recommended for drinking 19 July 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Uncategorized.
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Via the Language Log, I found this little gem:

Now, if that doesn’t make you feel like sake, nothing will.

But it also reminded me of a similar wine review I found in an Indian restaurant here in Hanoi. The picture I have is still on my phone, and was never transferred to my computer, so no love there. But the transcript is as follows:

“Our Santiago Merlot display a ruby colour, with strawberry, raspberry, and licorice scents, as well as hints of methol. On the well balanced. This is a young and light varietal, which allows itself to be tested, ideal (no full stop)”

Lovely. I will have the methol, please.

Doo-whop-a-doo 27 June 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Art, Vietnam.
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For someone who has, on several occasions growing up, been told that I cannot hold a tune to save my life, today was an extremely ironic moment.

I spent my Sunday afternoon in a recording studio. Singing into a microphone! And it was an absolute blast.

We did the back up singing for a friend of mine, laughing and singing our way through the track. Great fun, and the end result is rather catchy.

Will let you know if it becomes a huge hit. Again, watch this space 🙂

Language Tongue Twisters 14 May 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Life.
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Speaking other languages often makes for funny situations. Some of them are just funny because you cannot get your meaning across. Others are funny because of what you say instead of what you meant to say.

This meant that while in France (learning French) I managed to proclaim that I am unable to swallow doctors, when in fact I tried to convey that I have trouble swallowing pills.

Or that time where (still in France) I told my class mate that I have a sore chicken, instead of a sore shoulder.

Pretty funny, but relatively tame. (I was also 15).

Except recently, when I went to the local store and asked for a can of coke. I always try to speak Vietnamese to the shop owners, and they totally love and encourage me.

So they have been very kind and flexible with my lack of language skills.

Not remembering the word for can, but remembering that any type of container has always been called box before, I ask for a box of coke. Not wrong, but not correct.

The guy smiles, and corrects me.

Next time, I cannot for the life of me remember what he said ‘can’ was in Vietnamese, so again, I ask for a box of coke. Sure, he says, and again corrects my Vietnamese.

Third time lucky, I think. However, I am a very visual person, and I normally need to have words spelt out to me am I to remember them. So I walk into the shop and ask for (what I believe to be) a CAN of coke. (Notice the slight tinge of pride in my voice as I manage to ask this).

The entire shop (shop keepers, customers, everyone) literally burst out laughing, and can nearly not keep themselves upright as they give me a can of coke. They are laughing so much, that they don’t even muster the straight face needed to correct me.

Back at HQ, I consult someone to find out what I had asked for and what was so funny about it.

Turns out I had asked for a vagina of coke.

Nice.

Humourous iPad 22 April 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Life.
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The New Yorker, whose RSS feed I only recently subscribed to, managed to make me laugh out loud today (and not in the ‘lol’ kind of way, but I actually laughed) due to it’s list of “Uncommon Complaints about the iPad”.

It has some beauties (and unexpected funnies) in there:

Biggus Dickus 9 February 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Happiness.
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All you Monthy Python fans out there are sure to enjoy this little golden nugget from the Foreign Policy journal:

Despite having served for years as a distinguished Pakistani diplomat, Akbar Zeb reportedly cannot receive accreditation as Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The reason, apparently, has nothing to do with his credentials, and everything to do with his name — which, in Arabic, translates to “biggest dick”.

For the entire article, go here.

And, because I can’t help myself: