The travel app I downloaded for the trip to Asia I just began offers translations for phrases of questionable utility, like “You seem confident!” and “Is there a lawyer who speaks English?” In my morning Vietnamese practice sessions — I’ve named the fish who live in the water feature on my balcony for the numbers one through eight, and use them to run through basic math in Vietnamese each morning — I’ve not revisited either of these sentences.
Obviously, one especially hopes one would not need the latter phrase, especially because one (read: me) would likely be unable to properly pronounce it and would end up deeply insulting someone’s father or accidentally purchasing a crate full of live turtles.
Unfortunately, I might need that lawyer yet, although it’s not my fault. See, I got a little heat rash roughly 0.5 nanoseconds after landing in Vietnam despite going from an air conditioned plane to an air conditioned airport to an air conditioned van to an air conditioned hotel. Also, it’s only in the mid-70s, and not particularly sunny. Truly, I have a gift.
I’ve been treating it with a wee travel size bottle of Gold Bond Medicated Powder, because I am apparently someone’s grandmother. Unfortunately, applying Gold Bond Medicated Powder is not a tidy experience, and if your bathroom has dark tile floors it might look like you’ve been on a massive coke binge. Sadly, my app does not include a translation for “It’s Gold Bond Medicated Powder for a heat rash, I swear!*”
Anyway, in case I end up wasting away in a Vietnamese prison, I loved you all. At least I had some really good bun cha.
*”Đó là vàng Bond bột tẩm thuốc cho một ban nhiệt, tôi hứa!” But I still have no idea how to pronounce it. In addition to a heat rash, I’m suffering a severe case of DMOS (Diacritical Mark Overload Syndrome).