Photo of the Week — Keys and Kids

Locksmith stand in Vietnam

I recently had house guests, dear friends who I’ve known for years. A sweet couple and their two little kids, aged 7 and 10, cute as a button.

I knew the family from when we were all living in Cambodia. They’ve since relocated to the countryside of Vietnam. He makes keys and she sells grilled bananas.

I think that’s why the kids were bedazzled by the bright lights of the big city. A glass elevator where you could see the entire supermarket below and then the outdoor swimming pool was simply visual overload for them. They were intrigued with the doorbell which apparently did not get old even after hearing it 50 times in a row. At 6 o’clock in the morning. They flipped through all my photo books. And played with the ostrich eggs I had carefully brought over from South Africa (Africa, people!). And wound up my teeny music box from Paris that plays “La Vie En Rose” until one of the teeth broke. And basically put their grubby little fingers on everything.

Two adorable Vietnamese kids

Unfortunately, I am impervious to adorable.

After two days, I came to the realization: My home is not kid-friendly.

And even more sobering: I am not kid-friendly.

No kids sign

So wrong but so right…

To make matters worse, I had lent my TV to a friend so there was really nothing for the kids to do.

When they finally bundled up their things to head back to the tranquility of the province, I felt a palpable sense of relief.

One night, the littlest boy got really sick and I took them to the hospital downtown at about 11pm. In the commotion, a set of drawer keys went missing. The drawer where all my documents are stored. The drawer I had opened just hours before. After they left, I tore my apartment apart looking for those pesky keys for hours, but to no avail.

Thankfully, there’s an unassuming locksmith’s cart just blocks from my building. Within minutes, a pimply faced apprentice was on his way. After fiddling with the lock for about 40 minutes, it finally came open. Throw in a few more minutes to make a set of new keys and it was done. Grand total for the house call and set of keys? Just about USD 3.

Man, I love Vietnam.

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4 thoughts on “Photo of the Week — Keys and Kids

  1. Dyanne@TravelnLass

    So… you TOO dragged home MULTIPLE ostrich eggs from RSA? Good grief, I thought I was the only nutso backpacker that somehow managed to get them both home in one piece. (one is pure white, intricately carved and used as a ambiance light. Presently it sits in my storage locker on the outskirts of Seattle – sigh…)

    Heck, I even RODE. AN. OSTRICH at Oudtshoorn! Did you do that too???
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..My Stash for the Wilds of Outer MongoliaMy Profile

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  2. James Post author

    Wow. Riding an ostrich sounds like fun. Uncomfortably bumpy, I’m guessing? Plus, I’d be afraid of one pecking my eyes out or using their humongoid feet to eviscerate me. Yeah, I’m dramatic… But since I’ve been here, I’ve seen ostrich eggs for sale around town. I think ostrich farming is getting to be quite the business in Vietnam… so if anything ever happened to one of my eggs, I’ll just replace it and not tell anyone. Shhh!
    James recently posted..Vietnamese Food On The Cheap — A Photo EssayMy Profile

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  3. Mary

    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your website. I have read every single post you’ve made even though I just recently discovered you on TravelNLass. And, you are responsible for the 10 hours I spent looking at African photography safaris:-) I’m attempting to get myself “expatted” to SEA at the beginning of 2013, so I’ll be checking in regularly.

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    1. James Post author

      Wow. Thanks, Mary! That’s pretty cool. And you’re not thoroughly sick of me yet? That’s gotta be a first! Feel free to sign up for automated notifications of updates using the “Subscribe” tab towards the top. I have some really cool posts coming up, including one about a night of meeting other Saigon bloggers later this week. TravelNLass will be there too! Thanks for reading!
      James recently posted..Photo of the Week — Durian, the King of FruitsMy Profile

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