Tuesday, July 08, 2008


We've come to Nha Trang, about a quarter of the way up the S-shape of Vietnam's eastern seaboard from Hồ Chí Minh City, to see the Miss Universe Pageant. Well, there's more really: we're here to engage in a week of beauty activities, culminating in the live event itself at the beginning of next week. We flew in yesterday, drove forty minutes up National Road A-1 (copiously hung with banner after banner pinkly depicting whatever is necessary to welcome contestants from seventy-nine other nations), and checked into our hotel, the Sunrise Beach Resort.* We had a little trouble finding available rooms, even months ago, so we resorted to occupying an expensive suite overlooking the blue, blue and coconut palm-fringed water of this gorgeous South China Beach bay. Sadly, the main thoroughfare runs between the hotel and the sand, but that's little enough of a nuisance up on the fifth floor. Miss Universe things began happening immediately after check-in: I needed to scramble to get my laundry dry-cleaned and pressed. We were already in a rush about this yesterday because tonight is the Presentation Event, a longer version of the beauty pageant where voting will be done to determine the fifteen semi-finalists. During the annual live broadcast of the Final Night Event, the eighty women competing will be winnowed to these fifteen semi-finalists before the first commercial break. Throughout the evening, viewers see only these contestants modeling their swimwear and gowns, answering interview questions, etc. The show tonight is about watching all eighty contestants do these things, and determining which Misses will be announced as semi-finalists at the beginning of the broadcast. So I need my suit available immediately, tonight, and will then need to have it cleaned again for that other show at the end of our vacation. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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