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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Hué Guide (About Sex and Breast Milk)

We had engaged a tour guide through the hotel reception for all of today. In the end, The Husband smiled gently and asked to be driven back to the hotel after half a day. It had become a torture. To begin with, the man failed to pronounce all his last consonants. All the t's and s's and l's and d's at the end of his words forgot to come out of his mouth. It was quite a strain to understand him and after hours of this, I was mentally tired. It was like total immersion in a non-existent language.

We noticed quite early on that he did nothing more than read the signs in English to us in his version of English that sounded like Vietnamese, but wasn't. We tried to help him along by asking him questions. 

Little Boy asked whether Buddhist monks could drink milk. The guide thought for a while and said "Monks cannot drink cow's milk, but they can drink woman's milk." And then he threw his head back and laughed at his own joke. Eh... what? The Husband raised one eyebrow. Little Boy made a little circular gesture with his index finger next to his ears. I smiled politely. But the guide wasn't done. He went on to describe to me in full detail how much he loves to drink his wife's breast milk (very much)... and how much breast milk his wife produces (a lot)... and the taste of the milk (very sweet).


We then decided that we would not ask anymore questions for fear that he might share with us even more intimate details about his wife and himself.

But when we came to the Pagoda of the Heavenly Mother, the guide asked me a question instead: "Do you know why this is called the Pagoda of the Heavenly Mother?" Of course, I said I didn't know. He then said happily "Ok... I will tell you. It is because the Heavenly Mother came here."

Little Boy couldn't help it. He threw his head back and guffawed loud and long. The chortles followed the giggles followed the guffaws. "Mom!" said my son in Chinese "I can be a tour guide too! This is called the Khai Dinh tomb because Emperor Khai Dinh was buried here. Here is the Morning Glory Hotel because in the past, people grew morning glory here!" I had to elbow my son in the ribs and tell him not to be rude. But ohhhhh... I so wanted to be rude myself too. I badly wanted to stop listening to the guide attentively. In fact, I didn't want to listen to him at all!

I became REALLY exasperated when he launched himself (with some interesting body language) into an  explanation of the sexual exploits of Emperor Minh Mang, a man so strong that he could satisfy 5 wives in a single night. "He made all his wives happy" and the guide himself looked happy enough that one might suppose that the Emperor had made him part of the action too. You should have seen the guide's face when he was describing this historic royal stud. It was deep deep respect and awe.... with a good dose of pure unadulterated joy. In almost every tomb we went to, the guide recounted the size of that emperor's harem. Possibly, those were the only facts he retained from his tour guide training classes?

So... when The Husband requested to cut short the tour to spare me more indignity, I was most pleased indeed. We arrived at the hotel not a minute too soon because he had begun to talk to me about the dog he intended to slaughter for his X'mas dinner... yes... you heard me. X'mas.


Blur Ting said...

Oh, I would have sacked him within a hour! And how can he kill a dog. This man is horrid.

Petunia Lee said...

Ting - I kinda thought of Milo...

My Sinfonia said...

we had to hide from our guide who would not let us go. paid to get rid of him.