Tuesday, March 04, 2008


As predicted, I felt much better this morning. After coffee, Bet and I headed out into the city to wander around (Stud* update in comments). I appreciate this method of tourism since it aligns with my own style. Rather than spend furiously scheduled days navigating the pitched itinerary of the beaten track, she roams around developing deeper interests while, incidentally, learning the way around town. This is one advantage to having two weeks and a centrally located camp. We wandered up Lê Duẩn Street from the Palace today, past the US Consulate and the British Council, and turned north from the botanical gardens at the history museum to walk along the canal between Districts One and Bình Thạnh, returning to my neighborhood slightly north of the apartment building. Then we had lunch at Le's coffee shop before striking off down Điện Biên Phủ Street looking for the Xá Lợi Temple, a nineteen fifties yellow brick structure on a leafy side street in District Three. It was difficult to miss, owing to its towering and fluted pagoda spire which can be seen from my dining room window. It was shady and quiet at the temple, almost deserted except for one young girl selling sticks of prayer incense by gesture. I was shy about invading that peaceful space because I'm unfamiliar with Buddhist protocols, so we rounded-out the walk by wandering up to the main street and heading home. Bet wanted to watch Ms. Hương cook tonight, anyway. Looking it up later, we discovered that Xá Lợi Temple is where the remains of Buddhist martyr Thích Quảng Ðức were taken after his world-changing act of self-immolation in defiance of the Ngô Đình Diệm administration in June nineteen sixty-three, the award-winning photographs of which shocked the world, but remain unlinked here. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

And because I went outside today, here's the Saigon Stud Update: if you recall, the sixteenth hand was a little over halfway played at the end of the last update.* I had a "Ten clubs, Kind [sic] diamonds, King clubs, Ten spades, and Six clubs" and the city had a Nine clubs to which was added the Ace diamonds, Nine hearts, Six spades and Six clubs. My assertion that I would win this round with my pairs Kings over Tens was correct, but a good deal closer to wrong than I imagined.

In all, I found thirty more cards today--some in clumps and some singly. I'll run through them really fast below, but please note that six of the last seven cards I picked up, in different parts of the city, are all mismatched Jokers. This does not happen in Vegas.

Seventeenth round: Seven hearts, Eight diamonds, King hearts, Nine diamonds, and Seven diamonds for me; versus Jack clubs, Nine spades, King spades, Ace clubs, and Four hearts for the House--my pot with a pair of sevens. Eighteenth: Eight clubs, Seven clubs, Jack hearts, Four spades, and Eight hearts for me; versus Fives in clubs and hearts, Two hearts, Queen clubs and Ten hearts for the City--my pot on that pair of eights. Nineteen: I held the Nine clubs, the Tens of diamonds and spades, and two Wild Jokers--making a well-nigh unbeatable four-of-a-kind in Tens, only now you know from the above that, after the House also drew a Nine clubs, it went on to draw four Jokers in a row, making the rare five-of-a-kind. So my second ever loss was pretty stunning, actually.

Thursday, March 06, 2008 3:54:00 PM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

And, PS, this is my five hundredth Update in this column. Yowza.

Friday, March 07, 2008 10:38:00 PM  

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