|Offerings slid through the plexiglass box at Wat Chalong.|
|Side-car tuk-tuks (tricycles) waiting for passengers in Manila.|
|View of Busan bay from the Busan Tower|
|Shrine in the middle of the Miaokou nightmarket in Keelung, Taipei.|
|Sneaky monkeys breaking into the aviary and stealing water and food, Kuala Lumpur Bird Park.|
Next up -- Tagalog? Well, let's just say that I realized I could recognize the numbers as Spanish and that they used "pero" to mean "but" and some other random Spanish and English popped up while listening, but for the most part, the language was totally and completely incomprehensible to me. *And* everyone we met spoke English on some level (apparently Taglish is a thing, as is Singlish in Singapore -- when you can't comprehend the other local languages, you'll get quite good at understanding the local English variant). Again, with the English privilege. This is the first country I've ever visited where I didn't even learn how to say Thank You in the local language before leaving (in fairness, "Thank You" seemed very common).
|Happy Year of the Rooster!|
Singapore was super easy, because English *is* the official language. Singlish has some adorable pidgin that we noted, but many of the pidginisms/creole phrases in localized English variants are commonly used throughout Southeast Asia to the point where after several weeks of hearing and using them, I think they're just English now. ("same same" being the most common example, which according to a quick Internet search supposedly started in Tinglish, although I first heard it in Hawaii years ago. It's been adopted in most of the places we've gone this trip, apparently having traveled as far as the UAE in general usage. Example: Tomorrow weather same same today).
|Beers and lunch at LeVeL33 overlooking the Singapore harbor.|
|Epic nighttime views from the Hyatt Regency Club KL|
|Delicious bus stop ($2 noodle soup) between Phuket and the ferry to Koh Samui.|
|Typical HCMC traffic -- 80% scooters.|
Now, we are visiting friends (who live in Paris but who are visiting family) in Long Hai, near Vung Tao. Here, our linguistic interactions are not the norm. The first night, they had us over for dinner and we were a party of 10 where I believe the common languages spoken were: French - 9 (have I mentioned how much I adore E? He's so patient and supportive of my love of linguistic experiences), English - 3 fluent/5 some, Vietnamese - 4 fluent/3 some, Korean - 2. At most points during the meal, conversations and translations flowed through and between all of the languages, with a heavier emphasis on French for obvious reasons. One of the conversations we had was about how despite being identified as a Francophile nation, most people under the age of 40 in Vietnam do not speak French and their second language is English. I confirmed this with our general experience in HCMC. It was very fascinating to have this conversation, in French, with speakers of French who had no direct experience with this change because they speak Vietnamese when in Vietnam.
|Fish farms at the Vung Tau Ferry pier.|
|Delicious home cooked meal in Long Hai.|