Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out

We had a blackout last night which seems to be a fairly regular occurrence here in Saigon. It was kind of cool though. We stepped out onto the balcony and could see that almost our entire district was out of power. It only lasted about twenty minutes so we easily managed to entertain ourselves.

It was too hot to go to bed without air conditioning or even a fan so to keep ourselves busy we threw orange peels off the balcony at motorbikes going by. Absolutely childish but way too much fun and mostly harmless. When we’d peeled and eaten more oranges than we were really hungry for, we went inside and started playing “Twenty Questions.” Anyone who knows Bagheera knows she was the one responsible for choosing a person’s name and I was the guesser. It was the most obscure person she could have ever come up with: James Earl Jones. She just kept laughing hysterically because she knew how tough this was going to be. She couldn’t really answer any of my questions because she barely knew anything about him other than he voiced Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy as well as Mufasa in The Lion King. Finally the lights came back on, I showered and thoroughly washed my face and put drops in both my eyes. (I think the infection has spread to my right eye.) Sleep was a little rough because I got up a few times in the night to wash my face again and put in more drops. Every time I woke up, my eyes would drip so it was really unpleasant and needed to be cleaned up.

James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones

This morning I woke up to Skype with Mum. She didn’t end up coming online until 10:00 which meant that I had some time to poke around Twitter. I got up with the intention to find some Deepak Chopra for inspiration and I came across his 30 Days of Intent videos. I watched a bunch of them, almost completely forgetting about my date, and then Mum came online. I filled her in on my past week of work and on Bagheera’s awful Sunday morning class. She recommended ample small rewards (Froot Loops) for every little stupid thing kids do (like training a dog). Sitting nicely for five seconds? Here’s a Froot Loop. Picking up your toys? Here’s another piddly little fruity “O”. Listening for more than five seconds? A miracle! Here’s more sugar to fuel the rot going on inside your mouth. So I will pass along these tips to Bagheera and hopefully she can make her class behave within the next few lessons. Once that system works flawlessly for a few weeks, she can then start weaning them off the rewards very slowly. Wouldn’t want them to withdraw too quickly and then relapse. Addiction to sugar. It’s a terrible thing.

Two of my brothers, J-Bone and Pierre, ended up joining Mum at one point to tell me about their scary Thursday evening. At around 22:30 they got a call from Mr. Mouse across the street who said he’d just chased a very drunk man off his back porch and that the man was heading to my family’s house. The man managed to get to the side patio door and was banging on it erratically. Mum thinks he was trying to get in. He had a bottle of vodka in one hand and he was yelling unintelligibly. Pierre and J-Bone rushed upstairs with a golf club and sparring stick respectively. They’re both black belts in karate which did not bode well for what would have become their intoxicated punching bag. Mum had to call them off going outside and beating the shit out of the man. They called the cops and before Pierre and J-Bone could get a crack at the man, he was arrested and hauled off to the drunk tank. Mum slept like a baby that night feeling very secure with her boys on the lookout. But as luck would have it, Pierre and J-Bone couldn’t sleep for hours. Their logic was that if Mum had let them go out there and beat the guy up a bit, their pent-up adrenaline would have been spent and they would have been able to go to sleep. I reminded them that then they would have just been running on endorphins and would have been up for hours running through the act over and over again. This rehashing is something Pierre is very good at and well-mocked for in our family.

After hearing that the world had been saved (yet again) by my heroic (if only in their heads) brothers, I went back to my Deepak Chopra and then did a few guided meditations to try and flush out the infection in my eyes. Never a dull moment in the K Klan household…

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