“You choose”

there are people that are

occasional assholes;

there are people that are

drunkard assholes;

some are sarcastic assholes;

some people are inadvertent assholes;

and then there are some people

that are just fucking dickheads to others

for which there is no reasonable excuse

despite what they may have been through.

I’m one of these, but not quite sure

which one.  I suppose it doesn’t matter,

because you’re a fucking idiot anyways.

-JDR-

“Karaoke”

(BT) In this blog, there won’t be anything sexual, something that’s a bit different to our other posts. I can assure you this, as I don’t recall anything of the sort happening, although Jonathan might remember something occurring. Either way, you won’t be hearing any dirty stuff from me this time round.

 

One evening during our course, it came to the group’s attention that there was an upcoming birthday. After much debate we realised that the both classes hadn’t had a proper get together.

So it was decided that we would go to a karaoke bar near the school, as most people could attend, and it was close to where we were situated.

 

The karaoke bar was situated in a building where you could also get a massage with an optional happy ending. Another story, another time. Myself and two others arrived first, and proceeded to book the room for the night’s festivities. Gradually more and more people turned up, until finally the birthday girl turned up. A quick cheer, and we continued with the evening. Everyone got very into the event. Songs were sung, laughter was made, and in general there was a sense of enjoyment. Most of us who sang sang without any shame, despite our off key screeching that we tried to pass off as singing. A few people surprised the lot of us by proving that they had a very impressive set of pipes.

 

Jonathan eventually turned up once things were well under way. Already absolutely plastered, he proceeded to make himself known as the class clown, as he began to sing Rihanna’s ‘Work Work Work’ song. In front of the group, he was making odd gestures, bending his knees and singing in a voice that whilst trying to resemble Rihanna, made him sound like a fool. Of course I had to join him for a few songs. God knows what we ended up singing/shouting.

 

Then again, that was the point of the evening. Those of us brave enough to sing knew that we couldn’t sing for shit. But we got up there, belted our hearts out, and had a blast. The drinking certainly helped, as we discovered that we could order beer by the crateful. Therefore we ended up drinking far too much and getting very pissed throughout the evening. By the end of the night we must have drunk 6 or so crates. Who knows. Either way it was rather a lot, but it was a definite contribution to the fun evening we had.

 

I haven’t been to a karaoke bar since, but I must say that I’m certainly not against going again. Although in all fairness, I’d rather go with people who I know, people who expect me to make a fool of myself. Because that’s karaoke for you.

 

(JDR) Where was I?  That was the question I asked myself after nearly two hours of performing for the crowd.  It may have been the largest audience I’ve ever performed for (approximately 10 – 20 people, who all adulated equally).  Truthfully, I had never performed karaoke and always said I never would, no matter how drunk I was…  Well, I suppose I should start there.

 

The night started off with my new Vietnamese friends, Duc and Phouc.  We were at Phouc’s restaurant, which was near the hotel I residing in during the TESOL course.  One night during the start of the course when I was still unfamiliar with my classmates in the course, I stumbled upon this restaurant a few buildings down from my hotel.  The restaurant had open seating, meaning I could eat outside under the siege of Vietnam’s friendly, but brutal, heat (even at night). I was clearly struggling with the menu, which was all in Vietnamese.  A young Vietnamese man approached me and asked if I needed some help.  It was at this moment that my experience in Vietnam would forever change.

 

The stories with Duc, Phouc and friends will come at a later time.  This is the story about how I performed karaoke for the first time.  I left the restaurant after consuming a minimum of a dozen beers (but who really knows for sure).  I decided I was going to this karaoke event.  For some reason, I feel like there was at least one other person with me, but I can’t remember for sure.  Although I had not officially met the birthday gal and spent much time with the other group in our TESOL course, I was determined to demonstrate my skills (of which, I possessed none) and maybe, just maybe, throw in some of that charm I think I possess (again, no proof it actually exist).  

 

Here is what I remember:  I enter the private karaoke room.  I immediately grab the microphone and say something like, “Hola, mi amor.  Feliz cumpleanos.”  Yeah, I was attempting to speak Spanish in Vietnam to English speaking folk taking a class in teaching English to foreign speakers.  I’ve always excelled at creating awkward situations and this moment was no exception.  I requested the machine (tablet) that played the next song.  What, what, what?!  Yeah, Rihanna and The Weeknd were my choices.  Other than my sweet Gucci shoes I was wearing, I have absolutely have nothing in common with these two artists, except, well, I’m sexy as fuck, and Rihanna is my future ex.  Nevertheless, I was so exhausted after the first verse (if I even made it that far into the song), I just gave up.  I have so much respect for singers after that experience.  Their stamina to perform two hour long shows that includes dancing and singing is incredible. [side bar: I’ve seen both Rihanna and The Weeknd live in concert and they were amazing.]

 

After I performed my fave’s, I joined in with Barney to perform more popular karaoke songs (and fuck if I can remember what those songs were).  This is what I know:  I suck at singing.  I can gyrate and distract ladies from my very unattractive singing voice.  But when Barney and I performed Whitney Houston and Bon Jovi, panties were thrown our way and we were sure to catch them with our teeth.  They weren’t all delicious (and not all women), but we still had a good time.

 

For those who are nervous about attempting kIMG_20170416_234755araoke, I sympathize.  But, drink enough, choose your favorite song (even if nobody else knows it), close your eyes, and sing the fuck out of that track.  For some inexplicable reason, you’ll feel good.  You might even find yourself with a new hobby.  Moral of the story:  Don’t ever be afraid to try something new; it just might be the best the decision you ever make (or worst, but at least you tried it).  Video of karaoke

The Eiffel Tower

(JDR)  Sitting, drinking, and kibitzing with the newly formed crew in a less than ritzy hotel lobby (I’m being generous), we mused about various subjects, which, Barney, correct me if I’m wrong, included one of the guys fucking a monkey (no judgment here).  We were still in the midst of a month long “TESOL” course that would provide us the opportunity to teach English as a second language to Vietnamese students (to clarify, we can use this TESOL certificate around the world).  These nightly meetings occurred almost every evening in the hotel to study, discuss teaching ideas, but mainly to drink and decompress.  We were fortunate that the hotel staff allowed us to utilize their “coffee lounge” as our personal family room (my 50,000 dong tips may have attributed to their flexibility).  

 

One evening, my current flat mate, Barney, mentioned “Eiffel Tower.”  Certainly, I’m familiar with Paris and the Eiffel Tower.  Turns out, there is another meaning that I was unfamiliar with and one that can never be disassociated from that point forward.  Yeah, it’s a sex position.  And apparently, as Barney attempted to demonstrate it to me, we took it to another level.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.  

 

[Sidebar:  The difference between the “Eiffel Tower” and the “Eifel Tower” is that one involves two females and the other, one female, thus the one ‘f’ and two ‘f’s.]

 

To this day, I’ve yet to experience the actual sexual maneuver; however, as the pictures will demonstrate, I think we’ve got the practice in.  Ladies…thanks for posing and for not consenting to publishing these photos (wink, wink, smiley face).

 

As I’m writing this, I’m not opposed to an “Eiffel Tower” challenge (similar to the Ice Bucket challenge) where people pose for pictures so that we can raise awareness for … I dunno, color blindness?   I never said I was altruistic or gave a fuck about anyone.   

 

 

 

(BT)  During our TESOL course in Go Vap District, many of us were situated in a hotel near the school. Eventually, we ended up spending our evenings and nights drinking, eating, and being generally boisterous in the lobby. Every now and then, the receptionist would close the door in order to muffle our noisiness. But on the whole they were very accepting of the situations, although Jonathan’s bribes probably helped.

 

Our group chats, like many other group chats, began to get strange in nature. As Jonathan mentioned, one guy did indeed talk about engaging in sexual intercourse with a monkey. Always a sucker for details, he actually wanted to have sex with a bonobo, a smaller, hornier version of the chimpanzee. Bonobos are known to fuck instead of fighting, hence why they are far less aggressive than their larger, bellicose cousins.

 

One particular evening, we started talking about sexual positions. In order to be part of the conversation, I mentioned the Eiffel Tower, a position that isn’t unknown. Many of my friends from both sides of the Atlantic know about. However, the people in this course were oblivious to what it is. Therefore, I took it upon myself to demonstrate it, with my clothes on of course (getting naked in a hotel lobby isn’t exactly polite). So I guided Jonathan and explained the way it works. I don’t know if it was the hands interlocking or the faces we made, but it just sent the others into a frenzy of laughter.

 

To this day, if you mention Eiffel or tower amongst our group, they’ll still fall over, and get stomach cramps due to the laughter.

 

Like Jonathan mentioned, this would be quite a funny challenge. Although instead of colorblindness, we should focus on something serious, like the rehabilitation of abused animals, particularly monkeys and apes that have had the unfortunate experience of meeting our mutual friend, who shares the name of a certain Irish saint.

‘Cock’roach problems

(JDR) Stationed in an AirBNB, District 1, near the top ‘banh mi’ spot in all of Ho Chi Minh City, the five of us were adapting to a new life – new careers, new country, different culture, new every—thang.  Our schedules were erratic; some were working mornings, some nights, and others looking for work.  I was settled in on the first floor (let me take a moment here to tell Americans that the first floor everywhere else in the world is the floor above the ground level floor; therefore, a level above the ground floor, and thus, steps).  I was within ten minutes walking distance of my teaching center – I was happy with the location.  

 

The first night went like this:  BOOM, CRASH, BOOM, BOOM, CRASH….BOOM, CRASH….SMASH, BOOM, SMASH, KLSAJFKLJSFJSADLKFJDSLKJFLKDSJF…

 

The government decided that was the week to fix the piping…and for the neighbors to upgrade their house…and for the other neighbors to have their dogs bark all night…and for the other neighbors to place their roosters out in front of the house to let us know the sun decided to smile upon us.   Fuck.  My.  Life.  

 

After a few nights of no sleep, there came a night where peace be upon us (thank allah).  That lasted about five minutes.  Two of the roomies found some wanderers to fondle and appropriate their innate desires, which kept at least two of us awake (honestly, I was thoroughly impressed with their stamina).  Sleep would be on hold for at least another evening.

 

Throughout the commotion, trash was accumulating on the ‘ground’ floor where the five of us would meet every evening to discuss our day.  These discussions would be considered groundbreaking to, literally, nobody.  However, enter a creature that captivated all of our attention.  A mutha fucking shelly crawly looking fucking thing.  Yuck.

 

“Barney!”  “Go kill it!” “Go kill all of them!”

 

That’s right.  There were many that met the ruthlessness of a one Mr. Barney Tennant.  He was a savage. He still is.  The evidence is in the video and the photos.  The cockroach killa.  One of the nicknames that will follow him to his deathbed (one which a cockroach hopes to help him enter).   

 

 

(BT)

Desiring for a place closer to work, our cluster of fools moved to a new place in District 1. This was a good idea, as it was close to the centre of the city, where there were many places to eat and see, including the best banh mi in the city a mere minute’s walk away.

 

I was fortunate to be in a room away from the street, as the others complained of nighttime construction work, excitable dogs, and roosters screaming about how miserable their lives are. Luckily, I’m a deep sleeper, so I never heard any of the nighttime activities, much to the annoyance of the group.

 

Ironically enough, on the one night when there wasn’t any construction going on, two of the group brought back some “special friends”. Apparently the noises from the ground floor were heard all the way to the top of the house, and the other occupied room included shouting. Thankfully I didn’t have to hear any of this, as I was conked out. The lonely roommates on the other hand were not impressed at all. Their one possible night of sleep, ruined by sexy night games, which they weren’t part of (I’m assuming much to their dismay).

 

Throughout our time in District 1, we had seen glimpses of cockroaches scuttling about the place. The girls would freak out, then the little buggers would be gone. That is until one night near the end of our time there. For some reason, all four or five of them decided to make an appearance and linger in the living room area of the house. And for some reason (other than knowing that a certain roommate is a massive wuss), I had to kill them. So I would put on my shoes, which confused the girls (why would I stamp on something like a cockroach with bare feet), then I preceded to stamp them. However, in some cases, some of the demonic bugs would stare right into my soul and spread their wings, as if they were going to fly at my face. Those fuckers. Anyways, by the end of the night, there were cockroach corpses littered around the room. I voted for leaving their bodies as a warning to the others, but they were eventually swept out of the room. Shame.

“Sexy Pizza”

(JDR) A night out for Western food seemed in store after a few long days of moving and adjusting to a new district in the busy Ho Chi Minh City.  There were four of us who moved from the Go Vap district (after a quick holiday to Phu Quoc island – a story to tell at a later time) to a place closer to where we’d all prefer to live and work.  We were pursuing jobs – teaching positions.  There were two English peeps, one South African and me, the lone American.  District 2 is known for expat living so it was expected to have some food establishments that catered to their home tastes.  

 

I often walk around my new surroundings in an attempt to gain an understanding of my new environment.  I meandered past an “Real Italian Pizza” restaurant.  I stopped, spoke to the manager who was obviously Italian, but also spoke English and Vietnamese.  I figured this would be a good place for me and the crew to visit for some good pizza when the craving struck.  

 

Fast forward two days.  “Pizza anyone?”  How about, “Pizza everyone!”  We made our way to the pizza restaurant – a short five minute walk from our AirBnb (a high rise condo).  Even for lactose intolerant folks as myself, a good Italian pizza pie could not be denied.  

 

We arrived.  We were seated behind the pool table at a bar that wasn’t really a bar.  The four of us perused the menu while I was given the power to choose the music for the restaurant (The Weeknd was played).  There was a gal behind this “bar” sitting on a chair/couch made for stretching out and relaxing. She was wearing a leopard print dress. And when I say dress, I mean just that…just a dress.  I also noticed a bump in the dress as if a lil baby was wearing the exact same dress within her stomach.  One more glance towards that area revealed that she wasn’t wearing anything but the dress (are you getting the drift?! She wasn’t wearing panties!). I immediately asked my flatmate and friend Hannah to switch seats with me so I could enjoy my pepperoni pizza without distraction and fear of instant water breakage.

 

A few kisses later, lady drinks, and some late night texts that amounted to “I’m consummated”, I retreated to passing out alone once again.  One would think that I should be struck with great shame, but I, can’t help but think that there was something about that bare naked vagina that added flavor to the pizza that evening and for that, I’m forever thankful for “sexy pizza.”

 

 

(BT) Once we settled into our new place in District 2, we decided to go out for dinner. One place that had caught our eyes was a pizza restaurant, a mere 2 minute walk away from us. So that night we went there. I’d already made some plans to meet up with someone, so I decided to go there for some food and a drink.

 

We got to the place, and were greeted by an Italian man, who Jonathan had earlier met. There we ordered some pizzas and several bottles of wine. The pizza really was actually quite decent, far better than the swill that is dominoes here, and the wine went well with the meal. All this time, a woman was lying behind the counter watching us, much like a cat watches a mouse before pouncing on it. For as long as I was there, she said nothing. She was quiet, but her legs seemed a tad inappropriately spread for us to see all the glory that was her underwear free vagina.

 

Eventually, the time came for me to go. I bid the others farewell and proceeded to exit the restaurant. Before that could happen, I bumped into the Italian owner. I thanked him for a good meal, and we shook hands. He asked if I lived in the area, to which I said that I did. He went on a little tangent that if the memory remembers correctly went along like this: “It’s great that you enjoyed the meal. But next time you’re here, we could have a few bottles of wine, get some girls, and we could have a sexy time. You like that idea?” Rather surprised I nodded my head and then met my uber driver.

 

During the drive, I couldn’t help but think that that man tried to pimp some possibly pregnant woman out to me. That’s never happened before, and it was a bit odd to say the least. It wasn’t until the next day when we had reconvened that we were able to discuss what ended up happening that night. Apparently the others ended up getting more drunk, with one of them (a man-child whose name is derived from Yahweh has given) making out with her.

 

Sooner or later we coined the term “sexy pizza” for the restaurant, a place we never went to again, out of fear of having a sexy time. To this day “sexy pizza” is always good fodder for a laugh amongst us idiots.

The introduction blog

(J) It’s the BJ blog! …wait, no, it’s Barney and Jonathan – not what you might be thinking you dirty fucker.  So, listen, this is the story of thirty-old-something-quasi-man from America that’s had at least two mid-life crises who refuses to grow up and a young old-soul idealistic British-American who sounds more posh than a David Beckham cock worshiper

(as an American, I have no idea if that’s an insult or a compliment).  This is Jonathan speaking first. I’m starting this nonsense and Barney will come in to add proper context to this story (ha! …I typed “come in”).  

 

I left the world of corporate finance after nearly a decade of observing uneven decadence.  I thought there had to be more to the American life of swimming upstream avoiding the grizzlies chomping down on us baby salmon for our tasty flesh.  Turns out, there isn’t.  Life in America is fucking hard and rewardless.  Minimal travel and vacations.  Underpaid.  White privileged (and I’m white!).  Some, if not all, people thought I was crazy for leaving a respectable and well-paid job (compared to the rest of the world), where I put in years of work to rise to the level of … well, shit swallower – that never changed no matter the position.

 

No wife.  No kids.  Nothing to lose.  It was time for a change.  International travel was tugging at my invisible foreskin.  The journey was about to begin…

 

(B) What on earth is this? Barney here, not entirely sure what’s going on, but I’m sure it’ll make some sort of sense at some point.

 

I on the other hand am rather new to the real world. I’ve been there, done that with university, tried to become an army officer back in England, where I was told that I needed to get more experience. So right now, who knows what’s in store for me.

 

People keep saying that their lives never turned out the way they thought. So it got me thinking “If it won’t turn out the way I want, why not at least try at the beginning, what could happen”…. Quite a lot, apparently.

 

(J) I don’t think someone could get more “life experience” than living a year with me.  We’ve only been here two months and we have some stories to tell (stay tuned).