Monday, October 1, 2007
Monday, Oct 1
Today was a fun day. We (Sasha and I) got up and went over to the Water Puppet Theater and bought six tickets for the 5:15 pm show. I knew Wendi and Tom wanted to go and thought we could find another couple. Jewel and Claude wound up going with us. We were going to walk around a little in the French Quarter since we weren't too far away, but it was just too hot. So we got a taxi to the Temple of Literature. I had been told last night that it was a great place to go. I got online before I left in the morning to get the address and when I saw the picture I realized that is where I had been in the morning. My tour guide had just kept calling it the oldest university. I had also been told by a couple adopting though PLAN that there was a good restaurant there called KOTO (59 Van Mieu) staffed by children who once lived on the street as well as orphans. I had wanted to go there for lunch but wound up there at 10:00 instead. There was no one else in the place so I sat down at a table by the door. All of the employees rushed up to look at Sasha and wanted to hold her. One girl walked all around the restaurant showing Sasha to each employee and each one acted thrilled to see her. I was surprised that they were all excited about it. She liked getting all of the attention from them. I think she likes hearing them speak Vietnamese too. I could see her at all times and the waitress was very careful with her. I got great service since I had so many of the wait staff surrounding Sasha and I. Some of the staff knew English very well and I asked them where they learned it. They said they learned it through KOTO, which is the name of the restaurant and the name of the organization. Know one, help one is their motto. It is an organization started by a group in Australia. The food was good and it is such a great cause, so that was a nice way to start my day.
I decided to walk home, I'm not sure exactly why. Hot day, long walk, and not a pretty walk. And again, taxi rides are cheap. So I decided to walk home. I started down the way we came and walked and walked. The problem was that I was in an area where all of the sidewalk space is taken up by scooters so you have to walk in the street a lot of the time where there is no shade and a lot of traffic. I didn't want to give up since I was almost half way there, so I kept walking. Still not pretty. I am on a street that sells mostly motor parts and colored sand, so I can't even be entertained by looking in the stores as I walk by. Still walking. Did I mention that I was sweating? So more walking and more sweating. Sasha gave in and fell asleep in the front pack. No one here gets why we walk so I got a million offers for a ride by cyclo drivers and scooter drivers. Finally I saw that I was back in an area that looked like I could be getting close. More walking, more sweating. Finally, I almost gave in and got a taxi, but just couldn't do it. I knew I was too close. I walked up across the street from the hotel and a woman walking towards me calls out, "Stacey?" It turns out she (Chris) is part of the same adoption agency and has been reading my blog. She recognized Sasha and I from the pictures we had posted. (I was much less sweaty in the pictures though). She and her friend had just gotten in yesterday and were walking around. We talked for a few minutes, but it was pretty crazy hot. She gave me her room and phone number and invited me to do something with them tonight (I already had plans for the water puppet show or I would have loved to meet them). She is getting her baby tomorrow from Thai Nguyen, which is a different orphanage. I went right into Highlands Coffee and ordered an Innocent Passion. The drink is addictive. Really. I had been dreaming of it the last part of my journey home and it was perfect. The lesson to be learned here is GET A TAXI. No, it's DON'T SWEAT IT, GET A TAXI.
Sasha and I hung out in our place for a while and then went out with Julie, her mother in law and two her very well-behaved boys. We went down and tried to pick up jackets we had had made. They were supposed to have been finished today, but they weren't ready and she asked us to come back tonight at 7:00 pm. So we walked around the corner and bought toys at a store right by the Hgoc Ngoc Hotel (I'll post name and address of store later) where we bought musical instruments for amazingly low prices. The small ones were $.50 and the larger ones we bought were $3.00. We were all ready to go back to a world where there was air conditioning so we got a taxi and went home. I raced upstairs, changed Sasha's diaper and outfit, got her new bottles and met Mr. and Mrs. Carroll (Julie's in laws) down at Highlands for another Innocent Passion. Very nice people. I was sorry that I had to leave but I only had a few minutes before I went to meet the other group in the lobby to go to the Water Puppet show. We took a large taxi and were there in a few minutes. We were able to get front row because we had bought first class tickets. It cost 20,000 dong for some tickets or 40,000($3.00)for front row. Sasha was tired, but couldn't fall asleep because we were close to people playing Vietnamese music. She stood on my lap and bounced or layed on my lap and played with her feet for the entire 45 minutes. She never stopped moving. They had said that we could get wet in the front row, but we didn't get a drop until the end. About ten minutes before it ended Sasha started doing raspberries and spit in my face until the show ended. It was pretty funny and kept her entertained. I liked the show. It was entertaining. Since I didn't know the stories the puppets were acting out I was ready for it to end a little sooner than it did. It would have been a different story if Sasha sat on my lap and watched it or was just calmer. But I would definitely recommend it. There was a line to get in the next show when we left. It is a popular place. We got back to the hotel and were supposed to go get the jackets, but I didn't feel like going out. Well, I felt like it, but I knew Sasha had had a long day. Wendi, Tom and Julie invited us up to their room for a room service dinner, which was nice. We sat around talking and ate a good dinner. Julie is adorable! When I got home I had a knock at my door and it was the Carrolls dropping off my jackets. Great!
I waited until 2:00 pm and then called the U.S.Consulate and asked if my paperwork was ready. They said it wasn't there, but "should" be there tomorrow. I had really thought I would have my second appointment today and leave tomorrow night. I am either going to have to leave or get a job because you just can't be here without shopping.