Working for the weekend

July 3, 2007

Now that’s a lie. I don’t work at all. As a result, there’s no real distinction between weekdays and weekends for me except that more things close earlier on certain days, and employed friends have less free time on other days. Despite this, I’m still going to give the lowdown on my weekend.

On Sunday was the dam gio for my maternal grandparents. Dam gio is the celebration of a loved one’s death anniversary, and it involves a lot of family gathering together and eating copious amounts of food. My grandmother’s and grandfather’s deaths are a few days a part so we celebrated them together. I had two cousins, an aunt and two uncles over (others couldn’t come because they were sick). Ate lots of food, watched many things, bonded with my cousins.

My aunt taught me a drinking song. Here are the lyrics as best I can write them (since i can’t really do accents on this keyboard)

Lau, lau, lau
Moi co nhau mot ngay
Nhau mot ngay ta uong cho say
Do do do!

Nhau is this word that means when you’re drinking, eating and talking. A word that doesn’t have an equivalent really in English. It’s like when you go out with friends, eat during a long course of time, and drink lots of beer along the way. The gist of the song is “It’s been a long time since I nhau-ed to get drunk. Cheers!”. In Vietnamese, the equivalent of cheers is “do” (pronounced like “yo”). It literally means in or enter (like you’d use the word “do” when saying I’m going in the house), so the drink enters the body. Usually you say “1-2-3- Do!!” or if you’re particularly drunk and merry (like at a wedding) “1-2-3 Do 2-3 Do 2-3 Do!!!”.

I think it’s funny that my aunt taught me that, or more that in my family anything that has to do with nhau and do, everyone goes to me. After I came back from Vietnam, I used to say Do all the time. To them it was kind of weird cuz it’s usually what drunk men say, but hey it means I’m becoming more Vietnamese! Also, I kept on talking about nhau and asking questions about it (like do you have to go to certain kind of places to nhau, or just anywhere with food and booze? the answer is the latter). So now in my family I’m associated with nhau and do, aka vietnamese drinking culture. It’s okay, because I’m still the Americanized little girl who gets good grades, so my relatives think it’s more funny and odd than a sign of me being a sketchy drunkard or anything like that.

I saw a freakish amount of films in a short amount of time. Usually when my relatives get together the adults get drunk and sing Karaoke, and the offspring hide upstairs watching TV, eventually leaving the house to watch a movie on the parents’ dollar. At home, me and my cousin Tu who also has an affinity for Asian dramas saw this crazy Korean movie called “I’m a Cyborg but that’s ok”, which stars Rain, the Korean equivalent of Justin Timberlake. Unlike what I had anticipated, which was that it was going to be a sci-fi film about cyborgs, it’s about a romance in a psychiatric ward. There’s this woman who is convinced she’s a cyborg and refuses to eat because it’ll mess up her mechanics. Another man in the ward who thinks he has the ability to steal souls takes a liking to her, and needs to convince her to eat or she’ll starve to death.

Later me, Tu, my brother Thinh, and other cousin Ly went to see Ratatouille. It was sold out so we saw “Evan Almighty” instead. Not impressed but I love Steve Carell.

Also saw the film “Sicko”. Wow. Like all Michael Moore films, you need to take it with a grain of salt. Though it’s not a definitive account of anything, it’s a good way to start thinking about how healthcare functions, its problems, possible solutions, etc. Watch it! Then tell me and we can talk about it! I feel like I should rant about it, and talk about what I think about healthcare but I’d rather have a conversation about my reactions to the film right now. Maybe I’ll blog about it more in depth in the future.

Today I saw “Once,” a very non-traditional, bare-bones musical of sorts. I read one review of the film that described it if Wong Kar-Wai’s “In the Mood for Love” was made by Belle and Sebastian, an apt description. My thoughts about the film: Amazing. Simple. Beautiful.

Oh, I also bought some sorta expensive clothes for a lot less expensive prices. Good day.

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