Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Sunshine enjoyed a vacation day yesterday, so we were all outside in the tropical sunlight again. We wandered around the zoological and botanical park at Saigon's History Museum, eight blocks down Le Duan Street from Reunification Palace. It's a nearby tourist thing we've never quite managed to do. I was game, even with skin still stinging from Saturday's tourism. I assumed I'd be able to while away the early afternoon sunlight indoors, learning about Vietnamese history. But we paid the fifty cent entrance fee only to discover the museum is closed on Mondays, leaving only the outdoor zoo and assorted desultory amusements of the mostly-abandoned fairgrounds to entertain us. * Many people aren't entertained by inner-city zoos. While I'll admit I'm often shamefully permissive about that sort of thing, we'd visited one just Sunday, and it was admittedly a little bit of a downer. Most animals looked healthy enough, but were displayed behind discouraging chain-link in stifling cement bunkers. Keeping the rabbits in the constrictors' cage shows ingenuity, but can be a little distressing. In an enthusiastic write-up of Sunday’s amusement park, our Lonely Planet Guide ignores this, but for today's zoo it offers the following:

"We strongly recommend against visiting the poorly-kept animals, which live at the usual (ie marginal) Vietnamese standard."

Wow. Besides being a mite callous in dismissing Vietnamese quality-of-life, I find the kneejerk activism of that passage flatly wrong (and a mixed signal compared with their previous endorsement). Today's zoo is shady, very clean, and the animals--save one old, panting leopard--seemed well adjusted to their nearly spacious situations. Here, the inmates are mostly species indigenous to Southeast Asia, and thus rather more acclimated to the heat than I am. I was particularly impressed by the monkey island and the accessibly shallow crocodile pit. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

* This fusty sentence brought to you by my annotated volume of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which I've been nightly reading and is slowly creeping through my ability to filter out its 1890's method of prose.

Friday, March 14, 2008 5:25:00 PM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

Saigon Stud * Update: the following is the twenty-fourth hand of Street Stud since November, 2007. The first part of my hand are the last of forty-three cards picked up March seventh, 2008. The last two of my hand, and the first two of the House's, are the four cards I picked up in the very same spot on the very next day, and the last three cards of the House's hand are the first of thirty-seven plucked from District Two on Monday, March tenth. Here they are in order: I got the Six spades, Five spades, Ace spades, Lucky Wild Joker(!), and f**king Nine clubs defeating my hopes of a flush, while the City drew the Seven spades, Unlucky Wild Joker (!), Ten clubs, Nine hearts, and the f**king Eight spades to beat me with a m&+*$%-@*[planet]$!ng unsuited straight (!). Spectacular. Seasonal record seventeen to seven, my favor. The City's streak continues at six in a row.

Friday, March 14, 2008 5:27:00 PM  

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