It’s what you say right before you take a drink. Một, Hai, Ba, YO! It’s a countdown. The choice for young people: Tiger beer or Heineken. Yes, they drink light beer, but its seventy cents a bottle! For seventy cents, I will drink light beer too. And I did.
Although I said I wouldn’t drink in Saigon, I found myself in a very crowded restaurant after work doing just that. Although the sun was down, the heat was still beating against my brow. Taxi’s are always a nice way to get around, and a great way to escape the heat temporarily. Our new office is in District 4 and I was headed to a place called Lang Nuong Nam Bo. I couldn’t tell if it was in District 3 or 7, it was really all a blur to me. The colors and lights all start to blend together after awhile.
When we finally reached our destination I didn’t have a chance to take any pictures of the outside. It’s this very strange combination of a restaurant without proper walls. Its…open…and formal, but not formal. There are tanks of crabs and fish. I smelled and saw all kinds of odd dishes. Some of them from the insect family, I believe.
We zipped in and out of areas, between people and around servers. Just like the traffic, the people seem to be moving in all directions at once. It’s exciting and exhausting all at the same time.
Once we got inside though we were able to get some things to eat…and drink! The food…was SO GOOD. I don’t even know what I ate. Beef, fish, tofu, spring rolls…everything tasted yummy! I bragged that the beer was very light and that I could drink a lot. I’m happy to report…I’m an alcoholic.
On the plus side I think I out drank some of the guys and earned bonus points. My early days at Playdom are starting to pay off. HU-RAH!
I noticed that each table in our area was challenging each other. Their shouts would get louder and they would drink more. My table decided to make me their champion and I went around with my boss to introduce myself and drink with each group. With the guys, I was told I had to go 100%…which meant I had to drink all my beer in one gulp.
My reputation was at stake so of course I passed with flying colors; making some of the other guys blush and causing the room to burst into applause. After drinking we did what proper Asian people do…sing Karaoke!! It wasn’t long before I was belting out lyrics to songs I didn’t know. The louder I yelled, the more excited everyone got.
I have to remember that any Bon Jovi song is still considered a classic and an instant win.
Where am I? You will never see pictures of me belting out “Its My Life” by Bon Jovi or Last Christmas. And if anyone puts them up on Facebook I will report you.
I have to admit, I was apprehensive about going out tonight. I didn’t know how I should conduct myself or what I would talk to people about. The team though, went out of their way to make me feel so welcomed. I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. I clapped so loud my hands stung. I had so much fun I think my heart grew three sizes bigger this day.