I find idiocy in most things, probably because I am one, an idiot at heart that is. During the past few weeks I have been hiding in doors following an exfoliating treatment on my face and arms, but mercifully this is now on the repair. Cathie is doing an inservice – on a weekend – hence I am dispatched to purchase trinkets for Cathie to give to Drew when she goes home in a few days, and also to drop off some stuff that needs polishing at her favorite Jeweler, and I thought great I can have a spot of brekkie and read of the Age rather than the online version.
At the minute Saigon is about 100% humidity – I just don’t travel well and sprout like a tap. With instructions ringing in my ears, I took the boat and head to Bahasa – i am sure the toys are on floor two -, NO, the place is being renovated, so I traipse off to the other one, a mere kilometer away! Nothing there either, but at least it was open. I remember the alternative…try the Russian store….so I do and there are many trinkets (I can’t but think about Cook and Hawaii and how well trinkets went there on his last visit), anyway, I purchase some….result. I emerge and start walking off towards the Jeweler, and on route the massage girls take pity, normally they say….you want massage….., but this time some hilarious young lady says ….. you look like you need massage, we have shower too!….in reference to my sodden appearance.
I make it to the brekkie place and find a seat, next to a table with a Vietnamese lady typing at speed on a nice little computer, and answering rings on the ubiquitous iphone, her son then arrives, there is no verbal greeting, in fact no sounds at all due to headphone usage by both, he plonks down and within 5 minutes has slaughtered the inhabitants of planet Zork…on his iPad. In walks Dad, and American – but not the Silent type made famous by Grahame, possibly an ironic title! I think he is greeting what I image is his wife and son, but no, he is using voice recognition on his iPhone to chat (type version) to someone, this continues for some time – as far as I could tell, there was no communication to the wife or son. My small serving of an English arrives and I am distracted, but then out comes the huge MacBook Pro that fully displays his business spreadsheet – and he continues to chat verbally over chat with someone back in the States. As far as I could make out he was involved in selling packs of something that contained 2.5 gallons of an unspecified substance, but obviously a defoliant! By the time I left there had still been no communications!
I travel to the UK a bit and need to replace a light weight Rivers shirt and pants that I have worn….out! There is an advertisement that catches my eye in the paper….Slim fitting (clearly this is for me) with a wrinkle resistant (looking good) and stain repellent finish….must get some. And then there is an advertisement for foot wear…walking shoe only $109.99 each, seems odd, normally a pair is sold. And, then I notice Thermals – high performance, moisture management and breathability (no hyphen, I wonder if the Oxford has caught up with that) are trumpeted as the selling points, what on earth is the ad talking about, is it a computer, would it solve my sweat (oops perspiration) issue? I ask you.
Again there is an odd mix up over plural & singular…..each thermal is advertised as costing $49.99 each or on Sale as 3 for $69.98 EACH! At least you are close to a 69, Andrew don’t be indelicate.
Moving on, and on a serious note, I read an article about the refugee boat arrival issue and a reference to Gareth Evans (affectionately known as Biggles or Gareth, Gareth as he coveted the UN job) by Ken Berry from his book about the Cambodian peace process of the late 1980’s. Which is apt because many people forget it was the Vietnamese who got rid of Pol Pot. Ken posits that in general, and now I quote “pre-conditions for a successful operation [Peace keeping..and anything] include that the plan be conceptually sound and appropriately detailed, with clear and achievable goals, adequately resourced and the support of all the key players“, now how could you argue with that, the article mentioned this in reference to our Foreign Minister’s recent suggestion to Cambodia that they might like to take a few refugees off our hands – inference is obvious.