Saturday, January 19, 2008


What a nice Saturday. Sunshine didn't have to work, and we enjoyed a long walk through an area of Districts Three and One we'd previously neglected to explore. We were looking for a mobile phone store. This is how I am: when feeling dubious about my ability to just "luck into" the best method of completing certain tasks, I attempt to get the inside scoop. Crazy, I know. We've sporadically sought purchasing advice from successful cell phone users ever since we arrived in Vietnam. Sunshine's phone was provided by her employers but we needed to buy mine ourselves. So we enlisted the advice of other Americans. I would like to say this advice "ranged", but actually it followed a tiresome formula: we were advised to buy unlocked equipment online or in Hong Kong, stuff here is too expensive. Eventually we got more useful data asking locals. One of Sunshine's Vietnamese coworkers gave us the addresses of two reputable places nearby. Our long walk today was an attempt to find the closer of these, supposedly down a Lê Quý Đôn cross street just two blocks from our apartment. We had a building number in the eighties. On the first block we passed buildings numbered in the eighties and one-tens. A few blocks east we found the sixties and twenties. Eventually, we walked all the way to a canal. Along the way, we passed a dozen Mobil phone stores, but none of these were written on our sheet. Did this matter? Some streets have telephone stores on every corner; we've passed hundreds, dozens of times. But having gotten advice, we steered a rigid course: we handed the addresses to a cabbie and were taken to a large phone mall south of Saigon Center where we successfully purchased my new phone. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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