Arbitrary Chaos

The epitome of Vietnam.

And on an aural note:

Sipping white wine in a young and swanky rooftop bar, and what begins to play over the speakers? The Lion King’s «The Circle of Life» – which proceeds to morph into a dance remix. Classy as ever.

Rum, Rice Wine & Moonshine

In the name of research, we visited a few “rice wine” bars a few days ago.


Of many legitimate establishments offering alcohol, this place was just a street-side grouping of tables and chairs.

Upon arrival two bottles of what were meant to be rum were sat in front of us. Thankfully they were neither strong, nor expensive.. nor rum for that matter. Some moonshine-type thing I suppose. We are all still alive and well, so it was obviously fine for consumption. Pretty boring story actually..

Dear Deer

Animals kept outside my apartment.

Is this legal? It’s Vietnam, it’s all legal and illegal at the same time.  Apparently there’s technically a law against selling things on the street here – you can’t walk five feet without encountering something being sold on the street. From crockery to costumes to barbecued meat.


This St. Valentine’s Day, accompanied by Dana and Ruben (for the most part), I had the distinct pleasure of

  • sitting in a bacon laden restaurant (The Hungry Pig), eavesdropping on some young’uns chatting about our magazine
  • getting my nails done in a cheap wee place in the backpacker area,
  • eating sushi nearby,
  • taking tacky Tet/Valentine’s photos in District 7 (that most suburban/American of districts),
  • wandering around the only park I know of that allows you to walk on the grass (while being childish voyeurs),
  • tasting some lovely beer back in the city center (Pasteur Street Brewing Co),
  • lounging/drinking/eating/chatting with a previously undiscovered collection of Italians in the neighbourhood and
  • sleeping diagonal-starfish-style on a bed to myself.

Sure, I miss Oli (who’s away visiting family) but it’s also been nice visiting the rest of the world again. A girl easily falls away from it all when there’s someone around with whom she can comfortably be an antisocial hermit.

I am Yellow Bamboo

Or Hoang Truc.
«pronounced hwang joup»

Taking a street-side photo for AsiaLIFE this month, waiting for a bright blue truck to move out of my frame, we whiled away the time at a local coffee shop, consuming iced drinks and chatting with the locals. When I say “chatting”, I mean, of course, that Dana was chatting as she has the gift of the Vietnamese gab.

Eventually the three mild mannered, middle-aged men got around to asking what our names were. Of course ‘Kendra’ is far from simple for the Vietnamese to pronounce – lack of consecutive consonants in the language. It usually reduces to ‘Kenza’ – of which I have become rather fond.

They decided I need a Vietnamese name and proceeded to list some of the names I’ve heard 10 times a day here: Phuong, Hoa, Huong, etc. Then they decided I should have a flower-related name.. ugh. Eventually we settled on ‘Hoang Truc’ – if only because it was as far from a flower as I could get AND it has the word ‘yellow’, which everyone knows is my favourite colour.

Henceforth, you may call me Hoang Truc, Kenza or Yellow Bamboo.

In other news, Oli and I have had make-overs:

Charlie the trucker, lost in the moment

 Gustave and crazy eyes (Orange is the New Black)

 Also, finally got some lotus flowers. Lurvely, though they died the next day. Lame.