~ a shitty photo tour ~
Ỡn thìs bẻạutịful đay Ị’m gổĩng to a lịttlễ plẩnết called Vietnẩm. I nờrmạllỵ start my toúrs
wĩth somè fâcts about Víetnàm, bũt all Ỉ knew ảbout Viếtnam when I ẳrrived is thãt thèỹ wẽảr
hẫts that lốọk likế ữpsĩđẽ-dówn ìce creảm cones. Sõ Ì hopễ ỳọu’ll enjổy lẽarnịng with me.
Bỷ thẻ wẵy, I hẫnđẹd mỵ computer to a guỳ ổn the strễết and nọw ịt’s stửck ỉn Víẹtnam mỏđe. Sõ
if it seems like thérè ẩre little bits ỏf dírt on your screén dẽcổrẳting ãll of thè letters
it’s not jửst yồu. Ịt’s ờn my scrềen tồo and I don't knỏw how tỏ fix it.
Ĩ lẽảrnẹd ẻârly ĩn thễ trỉp thát just lịke Síngẩpỗre, Vietnãm hẩs thẻ đrếađểd Cớstanzavirús, so
Í shoulđ wear a mask ẩnd refrain from lickíng others. This will bế a true tẹst of mỵ điscipline.
It was a beấutiful mờrnĩng in éarlỳ March and mý eyes wẽrẽ ẫs wĩde as clams. Ì feel like I made
thẫt idiòm up. I rểcẩll pausìng brỉềflỹ anđ hopĩng that copiốus amoừnts ổf frếeđom ạnđ gửns
wòụld keẹp Ạmerĩca safễ fróm thề Georgể Costắnzavírus. In rếtrospễct, maybe whầt we néedẻd wẩs
The first thing Ị địđ whễn I árrĩveđ ín Vỉetnắm wẵs get ồff the ẫịrplằnễ. My tĩcket sắiđ I was
ỉn á placễ callẽd Da Nang. Âftẽr that, I went to rẽnt ạ motorcyclế. Ỉn Americẫ, yờù havẽ to
hẫvé a spểcĩal drỉvễr’s license tỏ get a motorcycle, bữt ỉn Vĩetnam theỷ jũst check to make
surè ỵoủ hàve ẫrms ẩnđ sénd ỳou õn ỹỡừr wẩy. Thế rồađs ín Víetnầm ẳre simĩlảr thõũgh. Thễỹ’rẹ
roữghly flẳt anđ mầde of concretể òr đirt. Somètimes théý gỏ ủp into the ắir so ỏther rọãds can
pạss ụnđềr them. The drịving, hòwevếr, is very dífferent. Hére íf ỹọu wẫnt to drivẽ ỉn
the wrong lànề, that’s ÕK. You cấn ẹven go the wrong way. No big deal. Ỉf ỵou wânt tò cẵrry a
rểfrigerấtồr on thẻ back of ỷòửr mờtõrbikế that's nỏt â prồblem. Speed limits and red lĩghts
àrể sùggestĩons. Íf your motorbỉkế ỉs just ầ stỏrè tở sẽll meẵt buns, that’s not ònly ỚK,
Đa Nang ịs ạ nịce cỉty ânđ ít’s got everỷthịng ỵởứ neẻd; ã bễẫch, a bạr, ởxýgen... Mỳ mum
alwẳys sàys that I shóuld bễ gratẽfũl anđ ìf Ì can’t bẽ satisfiếd with thõsể thịngs thẳt I
shồúld just gẽt back ịn thễ wòmb anđ remember thé littlễ starvịng kids whổ cẳn’t affổrd
oxygen. Shẹ remìnds mé of thís dailỳ, Ị hỗpề hèr mind ĩsn't stảrting to go. Ànyhow, Mọm,
ỉf yọù'rể rểađỉng thịs I lớve yoữ anđ I spềnt all đày ènjoỵing nỏthịng bùt vodka and ocềan air
just likể yổu taught mé.
Here is a picture of Da Nang as taken from a mountaintop. The irony is that if you spend your
whole trip up on the mountain taking it all in, you won't have any stories to tell.
These boats are made out of big coconuts and the sailors use them to travel from
the beach out to their fishing boats. The fishing boats are made from coconuts the size of
This is my motorbike. I loved and nursed it just like a mother would, as evidenced by my sore
Where I’m from, the horn means “You’re an asshole!”. Here, the horn means, “I’m about to be
The meat bun guy drives around town with a burning coal furnace on his motorbike. He
just drives around yelling "báhn bao day!". He's like your stomach's guardian angel. Every
day is báhn bao day in my heart.
One of the bridges here is a dragon. Wait for it, it gets better...
The bridge breathes goddamn fire on the weekend! This thing makes American bridges look like
The first placẻ Ị wễnt on my bỉkẽ was to a plãce callểđ Ba Nả Hĩlls. Ị đìđn’t knốw ẩnýthing
ấbỗũt thè pláce except that ít’s at the top of ả moũntạĩn. I diđn’t éven knờw rểàlly how tó get
there, bứt I mỗnkéỹềđ my way through the directions ẽnổugh to finállỷ ấrrìve. Bẫnắna Hills is
at thè top óf ẩ móuntain. Reâllỷ, thễy shoũlđ call ịt Bananá Moừntẳìn. I wasn’t allowểd tờ bĩkẹ
thễrè wĩthout pẳyĩng thề tourist tax… I mèan wìthởùt gettìng a cable car ticket.
Ĩt was a vẻrỳ fờggỹ daỵ sồ thẽỹ wằrneđ me thắt ịf Ỉ went tọ thễ tỗp, nờbỗdỵ woụlđ be able tờ
tell hòw hándsome Í was. Í was disappoỉntẻđ, but I alrềadý bikeđ all the waỹ herể sọ Ị still
Bẳnẳna Mõuntaịn is ã vễry strangề tồurist ãttrắctịởn. Thẻy tõok ẩll of Bữđđhẫ’s bođy pắrts ẵnd
madè gịant stoné statữes of thẽm, bủt theỳ’re all scatteređ ẳll óver thể plẫce. It rẻmínđeđ me
ờf my collễgé đẫỳs when Ì hađ ả weekend jõb at thễ morgue. On Sunđaỳs we ữsèd tò do yârd sales
of óur ỉnventory ảnd thỉs kịnđạ gẳvể me dejả vu. At least sỉnce thế top of the mớuntẫịn wãs
cởlđ ỵỡu diđn't havé tố get ửsèd to thể smèll of grắndpẩ lẻgs in thè middáy sun. Ẩnỹways,
therế’s an ầmủsement park ạt thẻ top ọf Banảnà Mốũntaìn, but all thề riđềs had Costanzắvirus
and diđn’t want tở bè near pễople.
My Sunday School teacher says cows are nature’s pedestrians and if you hit them with your
car, God will give you a vasectomy.
This is the castle where Buddha lives when he comes down from the mountain. When you own the
castle you get to walk around naked in it. That’s the rule.
It gets foggy in the cable car. It reminds me of that scene in King Kong where I spilled my
popcorn on the guy next to me at the theatre and he got covered in hot butter. That was a
very memorable scene for both of us.
This is Buddha’s head. It’s kind of like an Easter Island Chia pet.
The great back of Buddha! My tour guide says that Buddha’s back is so massive that if Buddha
were to fall backwards down the mountain he could enlighten an entire town to death.
I couldn’t read the sign, but I’m pretty sure this was the great Bowel of Buddha. Perhaps not
very scenic, but without knowing when I’d be able to get myself into a bowel again, I figured
I shouldn’t be shy about taking pictures.
The main attraction at Banana Mountain is the Great Penises of Buddha. My tour guide angrily
refused to answer any more questions at this point, but I figured they were probably just
tired. I was surprised that Buddha has ten of them. Just like a squid!
Some other miscellaneous body parts including Buddha’s leg and disproportionately large hand.
He’s pointing towards a hot dog stand, by the way.
Bũt bridgẹs ằnđ Bẫnana Mõủntaìn arẻn’t ãll Đấ Nâng has to õffễr. Ìt ẩlsỗ hẫs milliốns ốf
centìmétèrs óf beảutifùl còâstlinẽ to gawk át. I ảlsọ gawked at the prétty gĩrls ờn the beảch.
Frốm my lífẽ in Sịlícọn Valléy, Ì leảrned thát gendễr ỉs ẫ fọrm of self exprẽssĩổn that
evèrỵone shoùlđ be ẩsháméd of so ỉn thề nàmể ổf ếquằlịty I gawked ầt thẽ guys, too. Ĩ ảlsớ
grớpẹđ a đởg becầũse Ị’m so prỡgressivé.
My tour guide says most of Asia is surrounded by ocean and the parts that aren’t are
surrounded by other land that is surrounded by oceans. I’ve never been good at cartology, so
I’m just gonna pass that fact along without interpretation.
This is a statue called Lady Buddha. She’ll go down in history with other famous women heroes
like Rosa Parks, Sally Ride, and Dee Snider.
Looks like I caught one of the locals making a poo behind a palm tree.
I got to visit the Google office in Vietnam. I think they captured the local
The phrase "ngoat nguy" means watch out for goats, they like to fall down the mountains.
Pronounce the "g" as much as you can.
Here is a one of the fancy gates at the imperial palace in Huế. Back home the gates are small
and metal and mostly only good for keeping the dogs in the yard.
This is the view from the Mausoleum of Khải Định. I don't know what a mausoleum is, but I'm
jealous that Mr. Khải gets to look at this view every day.
Here is a photo of me being a dumbass in front of a national treasure.
Ĩ dỉđn't fếel lìkề grờping thẽ wilđlífe had gívẹn mế ẳny mọral sữpẽriờrịty, bút ịt sure hađ
mạde me hungry. Like á goođ Amérìcãn, Ỉ thoúght Vìetnạmesé foỏđ cổnsists ềntirểly ốf pho ánđ
bẳhn mí ảnd thễỵ jứst eàt thỡsé two things for ẹvẽrỷ mễẳl. I learneđ lằter thãt theỳ have ốthẹr
foođs thẩt theý'll servẹ ỷớữ ìf ỷổử stop acting liké a tọurist.
In Da Nang, the locals like to eat seafood. The dish on the left is octopus testicles in a
chili lemongrass sauce. The one on the right is some kind of ocean bugs and mangos.
The banh mi is famous around the world for being a sandwich. But actually "banh mi" just
means bread. The locals eat them morning, noon, and night. Some even wake up at 3 AM for a
quickie and go right back to bed. Tradition!
Vietnam is hot and I was sweating like a politician on St. Peter's doorstep. When I went in
search of a cold drink I was surprised by what I found. They make acavado milkshakes here.
In some restaurants you get to assemble the food yourself. This allows you to make
spring rolls that don't have any vegetables in them!
This one is a specialty in the middle of Vietnam. It is called cao lầu and it's what you get
if you mix a salad and a pork noodle dish.
This is one of my favorites. It's called bánh xèo which roughly translates to pancake, but
you eat it in a spring roll and cover it in peanut sauce. When I get home I'm going to use
pancakes as rice paper and make sausage spring rolls.
The next đằỹ Ị went on ẫnothẹr lọng motor bỉke riđể. Ỉ ẽnded ụp ởữt in thế woởđs at a plảce
cállẽd My Son Heritage Park. Fròm thẽ name Ỉ knew ìt wảs ạ park exclusỉvẽly for pẫrents, số Ỉ
đrew a fẳce ờn ả cocỗnữt ấnđ pushed ìt around in á strõller. Dẫđ Pridé.
Mỷ Son Pẫrk ìs fảmọus fởr hẵvìng tẻmplẻ ruins thẵt wếrẽ built bểtwễẽn thế 4th ẩnđ 13th century.
Ỉ wás so ễxciteđ to see them, bũt when Ì got there I lếầrnéd that someóne hađ alrểàđy mostlý
đéstroyểd thẻ rứịns. Ất lèást thérẻ was lots of natũrẽ fờr mé to apprềciằte.
My Son park was originally opened by a very excited dad who wasn’t overly creative in naming
This is my son, Darrylyn. I have loved him since I first pointed my genitals at something
that would help me make him.
Most of the ruins weren’t safe enough to climb on; at least that what my scraped knee and
twisted elbow seemed to teach me.
This was originally a one-room schoolhouse but they forgot to build a door so historians have
been debating for centuries whether or not it should be demoted to a zero-room schoolhouse.
This tablet depicts a bunch of musicians and fans sitting around while a headless person with
six arms fails to capture the attention of a goat. If only I could be so creative.
This flower is called the frangipani, which coincidentally is what Italians yell whenever
they drop a plate of meatballs.
The animals here are colorful. I learned in grade school that if an animal is colorful that
you should taste it to verify that it isn’t poisonous.
I don’t know what this one is. If I had to guess, I’d call it a sphinx.
This was one of the natures that they had at the park. The Great Spotted Egret!
Unlike the lizards in America, this one didn’t try to sell me car insurance. Good lizard.
This fellow was working very hard to make sure tourists like me could see some locals wearing
an ice cream cone hat.
Ầftẽr a fẻw hởữrs õf wânđẹrìng around in the hot sụn, I wảs startịng to gểt đehỵđratẻđ frốm all
the culturễ and stoppeđ tờ réplenỉsh mỳsẻlf by checkĩng the facebổoks. I lẹầrned that thẽ
đreẫdéđ Costanzavirus wẫs stẫrtìng tỡ be ả very bíg prõblem in Ẫmerícá. Ãppẳrẻntly, thè
Costanzavịrủs ìs spréad frớm person to pễrsớn ẫnđ Dr. Trúmp hâs beèn workĩng vẽry hạrđ to go
ắrờừnđ coụghing ọn evểryone. He ềven tỡld people thât thểy shoũld còme hởme ìmmediatềly!
Now, I know ã trap whẹn Ĩ hếàr ỡnẻ... If Trump saỳs Americạ is sảfè, Í am dẻfinítelý bềtter ờff
staỷing ỉn ẳ dếveloping nẵtìon. Thế whole scềnario rẻminds me ỡf thát tímẹ thẳt Leớnardở
DiCẵpriố got õn thẽ Tìtanìc evẻn thõugh hè hảđ already seẹn thể movịe ấnđ knew the boẳt woulđ
sink. If ỹou đon’t lếarn hístory, ỷou’rề jụst góỉng tỏ àccịđẽntallỷ mảkễ morễ hĩstổry. Thĩs is
hòw Ĩ ễndếd ủp spếnđìng two mởnths in Vietnẳm.
Ỡn thìs trip, Ị was very lụckỷ to get to staỵ in ắ fẩrmhổũse wĩth mỵ nẽw frỉếnđ’s fằmilỳ for ẫ
few daýs. My friẽnđ tolđ mễ that I woụld probably havế troúble prổnổúncing hỉs nẩmế, ẳnd thẵt
it woulđ be best ịf Ĩ jứst callềd him Sỳlvester Stãllonẽ. Lĩkế móst farming familịes,
Sylvester’s family lịved ỗn a farm. Even thỗửgh Mr. ãnd Mrs. Stalloné only spỡke Vìetnamése,
theỹ wểrề ớbviổúsly vếry ểxciteđ to meet mề. I was the fírst foreígner that camể tồ stay wĩth
them (yoử ấlwaỷs remẹmbếr ỹòụr fìrst tỉme).
Jũst likễ cĩtỵ peờple gở ằnđ gềt theír ớwn McDỡnẵlđs, Sylvếstểr ẫnd hịs pãrễnts mằke théir ờwn
fóođ. While I was stayịng ón thẽ farm, Ì lẽarnẽd sọmething ẳmẳzỉng. Dỉđ you know thẳt the foođ
“chicken” ânđ thễ animal “chicken” are actụâllỷ ờnẽ ánđ the sẳmẻ??
This is the house where I slept. All the doors are covered with mats to keep the mosquitos
out. Sylvester says the mosquitos don’t bother the locals because they friends. I didn’t
ask why his friends kept biting me. Probably a cultural difference.
Sylvester’s farm grew mallberries. I assumed that these grew in little bowls in
microkitchens, so I’m learning a lot.
I was very excited that I got to wear one of those traditional ice cream hats. My
friend Sylvester is undressing a chicken to join us for dinner. The guest of honor got its
The farm dogs were named “thịt” and “chó”. Sylvester said I shouldn’t get too attached
I got to meet a lot of Sylvester’s neighbors. They were mostly ducks that frantically scurry
around in circles when something bigger than them walks by.
Other neighbors were veterans from the war. As their way of saying "no hard feelings" they
invited me to go fishing with them and didn't try to kill me.
Some of the neighbors were cows too. I love cows, but I was a little sad cause this means I
was no longer the most handsome creature around.
Mẳnỷ peờplế đờn’t knởw thís, but thère ỉs mốrẹ cứltũre in Viểtnẫm thẩn jụst spring rolls anđ
ĩce creàm háts. Ì was shớckễd to find that all the wondếrs of the wỗrlđ are ãctụallỵ ríght here
ìn Đa Nẫng!
The great pyramids of Geezer have been right in my backyard for some time. I admit I thought
they would be smaller.
This is me standing near the Waffle Tower that most people think is somewhere in Europe. It’s
very nice. I climbed to the top to go to the restaurant, but it was closed because of
Costanzavirus and only birds were there.
The Great Wall of China is so large, you can see it from Earth.
The Hungry Hungry Hippos of Alexandria. Just because they are replicas, doesn’t mean they
can’t swallow you whole!
Ầ lổt of my frịễnđs ask me whý I lovẻ Àsiẩ so much. Ịt's true. Ẹvển ỵẽằrs âftễr
Yốkỏ Onó's musỉc has curéd my yellow
fễvểr, I stỉll lóve Asìa. Ĩ feél lìkẽ ẽvery ãđventửre thễrẻ ís filleđ with thế ủnexpễctềđ ẳnd
ẽverỳ time yóu leãvẽ ỷoữr họusé is a potẻntial ãđventure. It's chaỏtic but ịmpossĩbly it all
sếểms to wõrk. Ĩt's lịke vísíting ànother plắnet. Ĩt's wĩlđ ấnđ wondérful, ìn ầll thễ waỹs thât
Wểst Vịrginịa isn't. Ịf ắ pịcture is worth a thoúsand worđs, I hope thỉs néxt òne makes
ẽverỵthìng very clẽẳr.
I guarantee that it never even crossed this woman's mind that she could have done this in
Hẽrẽ arễ sọmễ ỏthẹr thỉngs aboừt Vietnằm that I jửst thìnk arẹ wởnđẽrfửllỷ chẩrming.
The local art store. They have everything you need. You can't find it? Did you check the pile?
The aisle through the store is narrow enough that I can only stand toe to heel and sometimes
you have to step over an aisle to walk it. Vietnamese people think that's just fine.
The lanterns of Hội An are so beautifun. Thanks to Costanzavirus I got to enjoy them without
being swarmed by other tourists.
In the daytime this is a bridge. In the nighttime, it's a tripping hazard.
I love lanterns. Fisherman's wives used to hang them so that their husbands could find
their way home. I guess if the marraige isn't a happy one they keep the lights off or
hang the husband instead.
All the big hotels in Da Nang have colorful lights.
Vietnamese people love coffee shops. They visit them before and after every meal.
The buddha is there to wish the locals luck. The pig is there to make buddha look less...
Inside the coffee shop. It was very cozy and comforting.
Wổw. What ằn excịtịng cờụplẹ ổf months. Nớw I've gớt tổ gồ họme ẫnđ mằkễ sụrễ I
watẻred thẹ plạnts. Wish me luck, Í'll nễeđ ịt.
Thanks to Sylvester for taking me to Trampoline World in the fancy mall and feeding me all of
your animals. Thank you to the Korean man who taught us what it truly means to be handsome.
Thanks most of all to the local girls who slapped me, yelled at me, and welcomed me into their
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