Saturday, January 1, 2011

I know you very well

We've seen non-Vietnamese people in our alley three times... in the entire three-plus months we've lived in this house.

One time it was definitely tourists walking "off the beaten path" through our alley.
Another time it was tourists again. That time we were on skype with Steve & Rebecca (hi!) and Eric saw them out the window "White people!" he called out. I jumped up from my chair to confirm. Yup. White people. On OUR street! Wow.

A couple of months ago I saw two non-Vietnamese looking guys inside the gate of one of the houses near our. I didn't see them after that so I started to second guess that I had really seen some other-ethnicity people.

Then a week or two ago, we got home around 11:30 from visiting some friends. I saw one of the non-Vietnamese looking guys again! I hopped off our motorbike and made a bee-line for them.

Karissa: Hi. Do you speak English? (creative opening line, hey?)
Non-Vietnamese man: Yes. I do.
Karissa: Oh! I've seen you here before.
Non-Vietnamese man: I know you very well. I own Mumtaz restaurant. Yes, I know you very well.
Karissa: (smile) Mumtaz, the Indian restaurant on Tran Phu street? You own it? Yes, we've been there. We like it a lot!
Indian man: Yes. I know you very well.
Karissa: When did you open the restaurant?
Indian man: 11am
Karissa: (smile) How long have you been in Vietnam?
Indian man: 18 months.
Karissa: "Oh! Well, have a good night!"

The Indian man and a few of his employees (relatives?) live two doors down from us, so about 16 feet away. We haven't see them again, but they keep restaurant hours, so they get home even later than we do.

Oh, and the "I know you very well part?" We figure that's his way of saying he recognizes us. We've been to Mumtaz three or four times (it IS excellent)
We have English speaking neighbors!!!


  1. I was riding a bus about 5 or 6 weeks after I got to Fiji. It was making a routine stop as we were headed out to a village for a wedding. I kept staring at these people for an unexplainable reason. Then my (white) friend from New Zealand said to me, "Hey Kelly, look, a group of white people." Then it dawned on me: I was looking at them because they were white. The first/largest group of white people I'd seen thus far.

  2. When i arrived on American soil after almost a two year absence....I thought I recognized everyone I saw in the Seattle airport. I was like "Stephanie! (my college roommate) What is SHE doing here???" It was very bizarre. (Everyone looked the same to me, I suppose....) I am fairly certain I talked to / approached at least one person to see if they were the person I knew (shudder).