Sunday, March 09, 2008


Yesterday's religious outing was certainly interesting. Unawares, I'd sort of begun expecting some isolated wingnut sect, chanting devotions to a florally hung representation of French Catholicism in Victor Hugo's unlikely form, perhaps with a Hindu number of gesturing arms and Taoist aura of flame; seated perhaps serenely atop a tiger atop a turtle. And, to be fair to me, there was a certain amount of that: the dragon-headed horse dancing on the globe being a particularly fetching example of can't-we-all-coexist meaningfulness. But it's evident this is serious business (there's no gift shop) and the devout mostly lump blithe attitudes from the loudly trampling cult tourism; so for me, an outsider who sees no great gulf between the eccentricities of any two religions, it was easy to become maturely baffled instead of bemusedly kooked. The drive there was more exotic, frankly: here, at long last, were bucolic landscapes just forty minutes from the city center. Water buffalo worked marshy fields delineated by narrow stands of super green bamboo and tall thin palm. There was a shocking deep blue sky. Our tiny travel guide talked constantly while we motored along, making me feel inattentive for looking out the windows. His patter ranged from too-basic introductory material (the Vietnamese vowels, for example) into too-personal history (local banana wine solved his kidney stone crisis). Between, his litany focused on rote paragraphs of dates and percentages, carefully leaning away from one or another political agenda, and careful to stay amusingly off-topic ("I was afraid about my English" he quipped, "English pronunciation so bizzarry"). Returning home, with extra time, he convinced us to detour at a lacquer souvenir workshop run entirely by the handicapped. While we were there, it rained like hell for the first time in months, deafening under the warehouse's tin roof. [Cavin]

Then, a 1 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Saigon Stud * Update: the following is the twenty-second hand of Street Stud since November, 2007. These are the twenty- through thirtieth of forty-three cards picked up March seventh, 2008. I drew the following: the Six clubs, Five hearts, Two diamonds, King spades, and Jack diamonds. You may notice this is nothing but junk. I should fold hands like this; and, if I was finding cards one at a time, I would. Since I am finding them almost deck at a time, however, I can't. Why? Well, I know what's coming up, and since I would win more over the next few days by folding this hand and starting again, I can't actually do it. The City drew a King diamonds, Ten clubs, Two spades, another Ten in hearts, and a Seven hearts, too, beating me for the fourth time in a row (fifth time ever), this time with a pair.

Friday, March 14, 2008 5:16:00 PM  

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