Monkey Face

Trip Start Jan 13, 2009
Trip End May 17, 2009

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Where I stayed
Phouc An

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ah, live and learn!  I wrote a long entry about yesterday's events here in Hoi An and the system went down and even though I had saved it inside the blog>>>>ay aya ya!!!!  Lost and not retrievable this morning.  Yikes!  Learned to do it in Word and save save save.
I guess if this is the biggest thing to worry about then my life is pretty rich.  I am sending very positive thoughts to my friend Sylvia and her daughter Rachel as Rachel just had brain surgery a couple of days ago and even though I don't know about that particular journey, I do know that good thoughts and prayers and support go a long way when you are helpless.  In the end we have to put our trust in others to help us make decisions and I have been blessed with so many incredible friends and family and doctors and nurses during my tough times.
So....the trip to Hoi An was windy and wet and some points pretty scary as the bus made its way into the mountains.  We were cliffside for much of the first few hundred kms - next to the South China Sea and secluded bays with thousands - yes thousands of fishing boats all glittering in the water.  Each one had three flourescent tubes on it and maybe they use that to attract fish.  With the number of boats you would wonder how there is any fish left in Vietnam.
Anyway, as before, most of the bus went to sleep within a half hour of us leaving.....nope, not me.  Not sure if it is because I don't want to miss anything or what.  The lady beside me - she in the middle bed, me at the window, stayed up and chatted - well kind of - she is from France and had far more English than I did French but we did have some laughs.  Nina - lots of snoring and I was thinking of how much you would love these trips!!!!  49 bodies, snoring, grinding and making noises for 10 hours.....thank god for great scenery (even at night) and Ipods.  Josie - too bad we didn't have more time for more songs.  Jennifer - kind of like our trip across Canada with three cassette tapes??? If I remember correctly, Famous Blue Raincoat - Leonard Cohen...still my favorite, 20 Country Hits and a meadly of Scottish bagpipe music......I have a little more varied selection now, but I do miss the bagpipes.
Hoi An has been disappointing and if you had gotten the original draft I would have told you why.  Simple explanation - the charm of the ancient town has been overtaken by the 500 tailor shops.  Seriously - 500 shops and they are all trying to get you to come in and buy.  Exhausting, overwhelming and annoying.  I finally did partake - have 5 dresses in different stages of development...seems my hips grew over that first night so I will be back to get them today at noon...with the hips taken out a bit.  5 dresses, a cheap shirt to replace the giveaway and a pair of silk hugh hefner pj's (nicer than the guy in Saigons)
The big deal yesterday was while I was at the cloth market a woman approached me to repair my chipped...itsy bitsy chip, nail polish ..... was a long funny story last night...damn, I hate losing things....this turned into her taking me around and through and down some alleys and back into the ancient market stall to give me a $1 pedicure.  Then she looked at my feet, my best feature usually......thank you Lesbian builders from Habitat for Humanity.....and told me what I knew, they were indeed no longer supple and soft, the miles of walking and lack of multihours in the bathtub had made them look normal!!!!!!!!  Her sister, the specialist arrives, and can do wonders -  shaving my feet!!!  But it is expensive, but how much would you pay for beauty?  Really, beauty is an obsession here.
Ok, all the horror stories of amputations do to unhygenic razors danced in my head but considering how I need my best asset to continue in case I can't get another job and have to become a foot model or a foot fetish internet star, I throw caution to the wind and the two of them started.  Ok girls I know you are shocked, me, the no spa, no treatment, low maintenance holdout, in a 600 year old market stall, in a dress, with both legs up in the air and the two of them working on my feet.  It gets better.......the little one, the catcher (gets you in the market) tells me when she first saw me she noticed how beautiful I was until she came close up and noticed my furry face.  Furry faces are not OK in Vietnam and she called over every other woman in the place to show me their smooth unfurry faces.  Me?  I know I have a furry face, have always thanked God that I have white see - through hair and was happy that it has not turned dark with my head hair.  Every now and then a whisker appears, apparently destined for some other face as it is not related to anything on this body so that kind of freaks me out - does it have lurking relatives????  Is there a genetic mutation happening???  Anyway she tapped into my weak spot.  Then she tells me the magic to the Vietnamese, and especially the beautiful Hoi An women is that Hoi An introduced not only annoying tailor shops to the world - they brought threading to the world and are generational masters in the art!!!  I always thought it came from India, but????  I had my eyebrows threaded at the Woman's Show last year and it hurt a bit.  Hillary had her legs done in Snookyville and she survived.  Me?  How could I miss the chance at turning down a master who could take my chimp face from Gorillas in the Mist to Fabulous.  So.....
Two legs up in the air.....she found a replacement for her foot......face covered in powder and the degorillafying begins.  I am ouch, ouch, ouching as each baby fine hair is ripped from its home and the one sister who doesn't speak much English perfect English.....NO PAIN- NO GAIN.  Gotta love the Asians.  A comeback for every line.  It was very funny.  I had a picture taken so you would believe it.  i was offered the chance to have one side done for free to see how beautiful I was on the one side.  I should have had the picture include the legs in the air with disgusting," look at how much we have taken off your feet" looks from the two.  Cost me $30 - huge amount for the full deal but hey, what price beauty.  This is from a country that wears full face masks, neck covers and gloves when outside so their skin will not get darker.  It truly is not so beautiful to be in a perfectly tailored stunning outfit with a Hello Kitty face mask and over the elbow gloves.  They will just be old and white when they are old.  Still old. 
I must say, I am quite stunning now and was truly sorry not to have someone to rub faces with last night so he could appreciate the accomplishment...and I have a king sized is these moments.....
My face is still feeling a little tingly but it is so smooth it is truly amazing.  Now to see what grows back....perhaps I will be well placed in Borneo in about a month......maybe my eyes will lock on an orangutang who will appreciate my new without fear, open to the possibilities.....
Met the French family for dinner - the lady from the bus and her brother and her 20 year old son.  They emmigrated to France from Vietnam as children and came back for a wedding of a relative.  They had very funny stories about how their relatives had hijacked all of their money because it is tradition to hit up the wealthiest family members for money.  They said it was so clear that they may look Vietnamese but they have no Vietnamese in them, they are 100% French.   The son is moving to Alberta in a month - mom was thrilled that I was from there as they know no one in Canada and know nothing about the country.  They live just outside of Paris, no farming background, don't even own land she said and son decides, at 15 years old to become a farmer.  He has been studying agriculture ever since and got a position on a 600 herd dairy farm in Grand Prairie to complete his certification.  Mom was carrying a map of Canada and of Alberta so I told them all about the country he was coming to and what the landscape and life will be like.  The kid does not speak English and hoped there was a nice French community in Grand Prairie.  I suggested he start learning English right away and my attempt at explaining "redneck" in English and French did not translate well.  I am now their contact in Canada and can look out for him.
All for now - picking up the dresses in a bit and had hoped to ride out to the Beach but it is raining again so may have to go with another plan.  Wonder if my hips grew again last night?
Off tomorrow to the city - Hue.  Just 4 hours away.  By daylight.
Miss you all,
Love, Deb
Oh yeah, my feet are pretty great too......nice feet, no monkey face and Thai silk dress by night, silk pajamas by is it I cannot find a man????

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keith32 on

The Journey
Hey Sis
This is the first time I got to see the new haircut, not bad you may have missed your calling. I am amazed at the quality of your pictures, they are great. The one of the larger dog (for Ali)and the one of the narley tree outstanding!! Nothing to exciting happening around here just sitting by the computer waiting for your next story. I know I say this all the time but stay safe and be smart. Love you

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