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24 May 2012

Vietnam Alphabet M

M = Mui Ne, mangoes and milestones

We have loved our two short weekends in Mui Ne (Moy Nay). Mui Ne was a place to be calm, to soak in all the blues and greens of the sky and ocean and to be astonished by red and sculptured sand.

Ms. Quay and Ms. Thuy discovered that we love mangoes, and they buy them for us by the bagful when they're in season. Thuy has even brought them back from visits to the countryside on her motorbike. We eat bowls of them, make smoothies and salsa, and put them on Thai sticky rice.  We have even learned to enjoy slices of hard, tart green mangoes, though we skip the chili dipping salt.

In Vietnam, milestones (really kilometer stones) are actually like stones by the side of the road and painted with the names of various destinations and their distances from the stone.  There are very few other signs along the roadways.

This milestone is unusual, being in the middle of the sidewalk. They're more often on the shoulder of a major road. The distance marked is zero because we were waiting in line with our bikes at a ferry crossing.  The markers are about 18 in. wide and 2 or 2 1/2 feet tall.  The perspective might seem a little strange because those chairs are really only about 14 inches off the ground. They're on every sidewalk that doesn't already have little red stools.

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