August 28, 2014

Max at Fuzzy Logic had a kid and I was called in as a kind of pinch pinche to Colin’s Sunday brew.

Max was kind enough to stop in to write the hop schedule and make sure we didn’t set anything on fire.

That said, Colin directed a full day of grain grindin’, mash tunnin’, keg washin’, hop pitchin’ burger eatin’, hydromatin’ and straight up counter-flow chillin.

I went home vaguely drunk from equal parts exhaustion and uncarbonated beer. 

August 27, 2014
Cá trứng (literally “egg fish”) or Capelins were once considered a luxury food in Vietnam. 
The arctic plankton eaters once costed 75 cents a pop at Big Man Beer, Mrs. V says. Now you can get a frozen, pre-panko-battered box of ‘em for $1.50 at the supermarket.
Somehow, 80 percent of each Cá trứng is made up of tiny eggs that begin at their head and go all the way down to their tails. 
They’re best eaten fried, wrapped in greens, and dunked in fish sauce. 
"I bet they’d be good in a sandwich," Mrs. V said today at lunch.
"No they wouldn’t," Mr. V grumbled.
Yes they would. 

Cá trứng (literally “egg fish”) or Capelins were once considered a luxury food in Vietnam. 

The arctic plankton eaters once costed 75 cents a pop at Big Man Beer, Mrs. V says. Now you can get a frozen, pre-panko-battered box of ‘em for $1.50 at the supermarket.

Somehow, 80 percent of each Cá trứng is made up of tiny eggs that begin at their head and go all the way down to their tails. 

They’re best eaten fried, wrapped in greens, and dunked in fish sauce. 

"I bet they’d be good in a sandwich," Mrs. V said today at lunch.

"No they wouldn’t," Mr. V grumbled.

Yes they would. 

August 22, 2014
Egad!
Somehow I went and wasted another durian season doing things other than eating durian. 
Damn my insufferable work ethic…

Egad!

Somehow I went and wasted another durian season doing things other than eating durian. 

Damn my insufferable work ethic…

August 20, 2014
David Cross has a bit about life in New York being a constant decision between looking at the most beautiful woman in the world or the craziest guy in the world.
Saigon, by contrast, feels like a perverse mobius strip dotted with the hottest girl in the universe and the most disturbing thing you can think of.
Tonight, on my way home, I caught glimpse of a bone white goddess in black leather pants, pink high heels and a matching halter top riding side saddle on some dude’s Nouvo.
I tried to catch up with them, but they cork-screwed their way through traffic like a bottle rocket. 
I’m glad I can’t show you a picture of her. I can’t properly describe her. In a way, I’m not even sure she was real. 
I tried in vain to keep up.
But as I ascended the new flyover in District 6, they went south and suddenly I found myself weaving through a half dozen dead rats scattered all over the road.
In an instant, the girl had been replaced with vague and horrifying images of a traffic accident involving a cage of rats headed to market.

David Cross has a bit about life in New York being a constant decision between looking at the most beautiful woman in the world or the craziest guy in the world.

Saigon, by contrast, feels like a perverse mobius strip dotted with the hottest girl in the universe and the most disturbing thing you can think of.

Tonight, on my way home, I caught glimpse of a bone white goddess in black leather pants, pink high heels and a matching halter top riding side saddle on some dude’s Nouvo.

I tried to catch up with them, but they cork-screwed their way through traffic like a bottle rocket. 

I’m glad I can’t show you a picture of her. I can’t properly describe her. In a way, I’m not even sure she was real. 

I tried in vain to keep up.

But as I ascended the new flyover in District 6, they went south and suddenly I found myself weaving through a half dozen dead rats scattered all over the road.

In an instant, the girl had been replaced with vague and horrifying images of a traffic accident involving a cage of rats headed to market.

August 13, 2014
The rain disappeared, this week, leaving us with odd electric days.
Clouds build like an angry crowds only to disperse into dry breezy evenings.
The absence of rain leaves us to wonder: what price will we pay for all this sun?
The wise men of the World Bank remind us to be grateful for these pauses. 
Even they can’t save Saigon from the coming flood, which gives living here a nice, extra-biblical feel.

The rain disappeared, this week, leaving us with odd electric days.

Clouds build like an angry crowds only to disperse into dry breezy evenings.

The absence of rain leaves us to wonder: what price will we pay for all this sun?

The wise men of the World Bank remind us to be grateful for these pauses. 

Even they can’t save Saigon from the coming flood, which gives living here a nice, extra-biblical feel.

August 10, 2014

The boys at Fuzzy Logic cracked the code on a beautiful American Pale Ale at their secret batcave-like brewery on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. 

It’s musty and peachy and perfect for the strange, semi-electric evenings we’re having in the middle of this very un-rainy season. 

It was the kind of beer that made you wanna put down that silly fight and fall in love again.

August 10, 2014
Some nights in this town it feels like we’re all just camping out in a broken down shell of a building with nothing between us and our second round of dengue fever but a pink mosquito net, a hot breeze and a little luck. 

Some nights in this town it feels like we’re all just camping out in a broken down shell of a building with nothing between us and our second round of dengue fever but a pink mosquito net, a hot breeze and a little luck. 

August 7, 2014
Ken’s place (or Ken’s wives’ place) now has a 17-year old waitress from Tien Giang Province (AKA the sticks).
When I first met her, she described her stint in the city as some kind of inverted fresh air fund vacation. 
She seemed to be learning a lot.
I’d snuck out of the house to buy two cold Saigon Specials at midnight and upset an old drunk who wanted me to sit down and spend the rest of my life drinking beer with him and sounding out English vowels.
I declined.
After getting my Specials, he said: “America and China are the same.”
It was probably nonsense (he also asked me if I was from Mỹ Tho), but it felt like a real nationalist purple-nurple—a precision slap right on the prettiest cheek of my inner cracker as a Rastafarian strip club bouncer once called it.
I wanted to go back and tell him: “Oh yeah? If that’s the case, then Vietnam and Cambodia are the same thing.”
By the time I got the locks off the door, I’d thought of a few other things that would have hurt a lot of people’s feelings for no reason.
Then I had to laugh. We are exactly the fuckin’ same.

Ken’s place (or Ken’s wives’ place) now has a 17-year old waitress from Tien Giang Province (AKA the sticks).

When I first met her, she described her stint in the city as some kind of inverted fresh air fund vacation. 

She seemed to be learning a lot.

I’d snuck out of the house to buy two cold Saigon Specials at midnight and upset an old drunk who wanted me to sit down and spend the rest of my life drinking beer with him and sounding out English vowels.

I declined.

After getting my Specials, he said: “America and China are the same.”

It was probably nonsense (he also asked me if I was from Mỹ Tho), but it felt like a real nationalist purple-nurple—a precision slap right on the prettiest cheek of my inner cracker as a Rastafarian strip club bouncer once called it.

I wanted to go back and tell him: “Oh yeah? If that’s the case, then Vietnam and Cambodia are the same thing.”

By the time I got the locks off the door, I’d thought of a few other things that would have hurt a lot of people’s feelings for no reason.

Then I had to laugh. We are exactly the fuckin’ same.

August 6, 2014
Of all the pictures I took of Saigon’s butcher ladies (thousands) this image of sister Sáu (six) stands out as my favorite. 
Unlike a lot of other butcher ladies, she didn’t bemoan being alone or disdain her job. Most of her neighbors described her, in whispers, as rich.
She denied the rumors, but recalled the time she shut shop for a week (a luxury most can’t afford) to take a package tour of China all by herself.
"I didn’t even know where I was," she said with no small amount of pride. "It was so wonderful."
Please vote for Six in this Dutch photo contest. She deserves to win. 

Of all the pictures I took of Saigon’s butcher ladies (thousands) this image of sister Sáu (six) stands out as my favorite. 

Unlike a lot of other butcher ladies, she didn’t bemoan being alone or disdain her job. Most of her neighbors described her, in whispers, as rich.

She denied the rumors, but recalled the time she shut shop for a week (a luxury most can’t afford) to take a package tour of China all by herself.

"I didn’t even know where I was," she said with no small amount of pride. "It was so wonderful."

Please vote for Six in this Dutch photo contest. She deserves to win. 

August 4, 2014
During the world cup, I watched America get beat by Germany at Ken’s place, roughly three doors from my house. 
Ken sported thin sideburns and two cobra tattoos on his left arm.
He ignored my Vietnamese, like an accidental fart, and told me in English that he was from Guangzhou.
"But, I like America," he said and clinked his glass against mine.
When I asked Ken about his cobras, he said they were just one of those things you get when you spend 14 years kickboxing in Thailand. 
I had been to Ken’s place the night before and came back because it had a big screen television and a staff straight out of a Greek myth—two women: one of whom was absurdly busty, the other of whom had a record-breaking rear end who both had a magical ability to place an open bottle of beer at your elbow without you ever ordering one.
The former was Ken’s wife—“I have six,” he whispered—the latter was her sister.
Ken used the term “sister” loosely. 
He seated me between one table of his drunk friends (there were three of these) and two femme fatales. One was a Pulp-Fiction-Uma-Thurman-esque knock-out in a black lace top. The other was literally exploding out of a slit white skirt and low cut shirt. 
Both of them were Ken’s sisters.
"Are they Chinese?" I asked. 
"No," he said, wrinkling his face.
A few minutes later, he put his number into my phone and advised me to call him if I wanted to spend more time with his sisters.
Eventually, they all got up to go clink glasses with the gamblers.
Naturally, I quickly lost interest in the game and drank entirely too much beer.
By the end of the night, the explosion was sitting across from me, her knees vaguely touching mine, while the man sitting behind her giggled insanely and pulled a finger menacingly across his throat whenever his eyes met mine.
The USA lost. Ken won. 
Germany just kept on being Germany. 
And I went home.

During the world cup, I watched America get beat by Germany at Ken’s place, roughly three doors from my house. 

Ken sported thin sideburns and two cobra tattoos on his left arm.

He ignored my Vietnamese, like an accidental fart, and told me in English that he was from Guangzhou.

"But, I like America," he said and clinked his glass against mine.

When I asked Ken about his cobras, he said they were just one of those things you get when you spend 14 years kickboxing in Thailand. 

I had been to Ken’s place the night before and came back because it had a big screen television and a staff straight out of a Greek myth—two women: one of whom was absurdly busty, the other of whom had a record-breaking rear end who both had a magical ability to place an open bottle of beer at your elbow without you ever ordering one.

The former was Ken’s wife—“I have six,” he whispered—the latter was her sister.

Ken used the term “sister” loosely. 

He seated me between one table of his drunk friends (there were three of these) and two femme fatales. One was a Pulp-Fiction-Uma-Thurman-esque knock-out in a black lace top. The other was literally exploding out of a slit white skirt and low cut shirt. 

Both of them were Ken’s sisters.

"Are they Chinese?" I asked. 

"No," he said, wrinkling his face.

A few minutes later, he put his number into my phone and advised me to call him if I wanted to spend more time with his sisters.

Eventually, they all got up to go clink glasses with the gamblers.

Naturally, I quickly lost interest in the game and drank entirely too much beer.

By the end of the night, the explosion was sitting across from me, her knees vaguely touching mine, while the man sitting behind her giggled insanely and pulled a finger menacingly across his throat whenever his eyes met mine.

The USA lost. Ken won. 

Germany just kept on being Germany. 

And I went home.

2:01pm
  
Filed under: world cup 2014 vietnam girls 
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