Sunday, 18 March 2007

French, Vietnamese and English can make for a funny mix-up

It's been a funny old day...

Had a txt from Julien (the amiable and amusing French guy who contacted me through this blog) who works at a distillery near Hanoi and I have drunk one or two beers with at Le Pub, Dragonfly and the Bia Hoi.

He says he has heard about a flat at 415/17 Tran Phu which is available and is meeting the guy there at 11am; do I wanna meet him there? As Tran Phu is the main road that leads to my school it sounded ideal.

So I drive to Tran Phu, not understanding the Vietnamese house numbering system, so start at the beginning and slowly drive along. I see number 17 near the start, but do not see Julien. So I continue to the end, but only see numbers up to around 60 then it changes to a different street. So I ring Julien and agree to meet at 17, thinking the numbering system must be the other way round somehow.

So he rings the guy and tells him we are there. He tells me he found the flat on the Internet and the guy speaks French. The guy says he is in the flat. No sign of him so we get the maps out and ask people where the address is. We even paid a cyclo driver to take us to the address but still couldn't find it. So after an hour or two of going up and down, lots of txt msgs and phone calls and even getting a Vietnamese to speak to the guy on the phone (bear in mind it is the coldest and wettest of days since I have been here) we are both pissed off, wet, cold and hungry, not having eaten yet and unable to find the flat.

So Julien says do you think he is mad, I say I think he must be crazy, or in a parallel universe or something. I think this got Julien thinking because he then says something about Districts and could he be somewhere else..

It gradually dawned on us that there must be a Tran Phu in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon and the guy must be there, not in Hanoi at all! After another txt msg to the guy to confirm his location we stopped for a delicious breakfast/lunch of Pho Bo.

No comments:

Hibbitweet link