Tet is mostly over and the bustling has come back to the streets here. There were some very good times over the lunar new year just sitting around and talking. Many times though it was in Vietnamese and I did my best to pick out certain words and smile at the jokes that were explained to me.
On Valentines Day some students found me at the coffee shop where I was having breakfast and we went to a teachers house (it was the woman who played Juliet with me in the spring festival). I thought this would be just an informal and brief visit for a few hours in the morning. However, it turned out not to be. It seemed like we had been there only a little while and then they said it was time to go to the local market to get stuff for lunch. And then there was the ceremony of all the women disappearing into the kitchen while the guys played cards and chess. But the visit didn’t even end with lunch, I was taught some card games and I taught them Egyptian Rat Screw which they all seemed to like. I made one student take off his ring because he was getting into the violent slapping aspect of the game. Finally the visit came to a close around 2:30 and I was taken back to the guesthouse where some of the students wanted to see my room (luckily I had recently cleaned it).
The second week of the holiday is now drawing to a close and we all have to get ready to head back to work. However, before that happens, Jon and Jack and I are making a triumphant trip to Saigon. I’ve successfully avoided the city where it’s possible to experience things Western for two months. But, it’s time for a little pizza in the big city.