Vietnam: Snapshots

One of my favorites from the first couple nights in Saigon. Emmy and her Dada waiting for, of all things, a pizza! I'm telling you, they have everything there. Except, ironically, McDonald's and Starbucks, the two ubiquitious U.S. chains. This is a giant leap from my previous visits, when my unrefined 11 and 14 year old palate wanted only to eat hamburgers or some semblance of recognizable kid food. So much so that my aunt, Di Hai, cut up potatoes and home-made ketchup for me out of tomatoes. How's that for hospitality? 

Notice the BMW in the background? Another major change. While scooters vastly outnumber cars, I saw plenty--from a Porsche Cayenne to a Range Rover, Mercedes E-class and a Lexus LS, even a straight up Bentley. A rapper's paradise. And, as I learned from many a cab driver, family member, and random resident, the tax on a new car from outside of Vietnam can be as high as 300%-400%. Meaning--a 20K Camry will cost you 80K in Vietnam. So you can do the Viet Kieu math on the 80K Cayenne. Some peeps are really living large in VN.

Emmy, resting her elbow on Dada's knee, is not one of them. Though she did enjoy the $4 margharita pizza.

I know, the shoes really don't go with the baby ao dai, but the belly button is so very. She later threw up on that top after enduring a particularly windy cab ride through rush hour traffic in Saigon. That was her only incident on the 2 week trip. She was a stellar traveler. And the iPad is every parent's best friend on a trip like this. As the Wonder Pets say, "What's it gonna take? Teamwork!" iPad+long flight=Winning Team