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Jan 30, 2014

Samesame

It's January 29th, New Year's Eve Eve, and with many people heading out to their home villages, the city is significantly quieter than when I left four days ago.

I met Thinh and her cousin Ngôc for a late drink at the GO2 bar just down the street from her family's eyeglass shop. As she and I were talking, Ngôc, whom I'd just met, reached over and stroked the hair on my arm. Since a couple other Vietnamese women I didn't know had done the same thing over the past two months, I knew what was coming and beat her to the punch line, saying, "Samesame, monkey."

Then we all smiled.

Other than on their heads and pubic hair, most Vietnamese have almost no hair on their bodies.  Many are fascinated by Westerners' relative hairiness...

As you can see, compared to Thinh's arm, mine does look a bit simian.

<smile>


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