Sunday, December 09, 2007


Yesterday we took a taxi from a coffee place called Star to a District Three church selling Christmas trees. Star is near our house. The workers there wear blue uniforms: the guys in flower- or butterfly-print Hawaiian shirts, and the gals in sassy little stewardess costumes. This is totally normal, by the way. I only had one iced coffee before leaving. It was crowded and loud. Vietnam was playing Laos on TV. The Christmas trees where in a paved parking area behind a catholic church, lined up in temporary sheds surrounding the church's permanent store. Everything from rosaries and prayer cash to six-foot wooden Jesus and Marys are for sale in the permanent store. The stalls outside offer lighted and motorized Christmas pinwheels, strings of flashing whatever, and some pretty gimcrack synthetic trees. It's obviously odd to browse Christmas trees in the tropical dry season, but Sunshine pegged what was most strange: wandering the rows of a Christmas lot without smelling the pine. On Wednesday, Sunshine and I had priced trees in District One: an aluminum colored four-footer was running an eye-popping two hundred US dollars. Yowza. I don't even want to know how much the fiber optic trees were. Yesterday in District Three, however, a slightly more modest tree (three feet, Vegas white) ran us something like six bucks. The light up Santa heads and pastel stars, the green garland, and the taxis back and forth added another eight or so. Every now and then, in traffic, a group of high-speed scooters would flash by waving the Vietnam flag, a street signal to passersby that Vietnam had scored another goal. We would have never discovered this hidden fake tree lot, tucked behind its unassuming church, if we had not been directed there by one of Sunshine's coworkers. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Ellie added:

You must take a picture of your tree and decorations. I really want to see.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 2:35:00 AM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Ah. We still haven't put it up yet. Back when we brought it home, there were still bowls and decorative tchotchkies all over the dining room table (where I plan to display the white plastic thing). Since then we've moved all of that; but then it was the wrapping we needed to do there, and second then it was working late for the Japanese Emperor's birthday party, and, well, the tree is still beside the washing machine in a little box. Maybe tomorrow! I will certainly send you a picture, even if I don’t decorate until Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 4:27:00 AM  

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