Saturday, January 05, 2008


Last night, Sunshine accompanied her visiting band, the Livingston father-and-son country folk combo,1 to a cultural concert at the green cement youth facility a few block away from here. It's sort of like the People's YMCA. It's so close to Diamond Center that I can often watch kids in their school uniforms play soccer on the side lot there while I'm drinking lattes on the Center's patio terrace. The evening went off like a charm: Sunshine delivered her introductions in two languages (to applause), and was surprised to discover that everyone in attendance knew the words to Country Roads by John Denver. Apparently, seventies-era folksy country tunes from the US go over pretty big with today's Vietnamese kids. This morning, she got up early to accompany the Livingstons to tonight's gig in nearby Vũng Tàu,2 the closest, and supposedly fairly half-baked, beach resort to Ho Chi Minh City. She and the band were driven there, but it is also possible to take the hydrofoil from the Saigon River ferry docks, which is what I want to do. Since I am still recovering from illness I decided to sit this one out. I feel okay, but I didn't want to be cooped up in a bumpy car ride for three hours if I happened to relapse a little. I'll take the boat some other time. On the way to my lonely dinner tonight (at the excellent Deli Saigon, where, mysteriously, the Bún Việt sign has reappeared, geckos and all, even though the restaurant remains renamed), I drew the City's last playing card: added to the House's Ten, Five, Ace, and Wild Joker, then, is the Queen diamonds, meaning that the Ho Chi Minh City is unable to beat my triple fours, and I win the fourth straight hand.3 Shazam! [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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