Fictional Narrative No. 38

As the sky darkened, dragonflies darted outside his window and he thought that if he were smaller he could hoist himself onto one of their oily thoraxes and flit into the gloaming for good.

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The Crux of It No. 9

All frustrations aside, Vietnam is a fascinating, confounding and intriguing country on many levels. From sun up to sun up, even if days are sometimes a bit dull, they’re never short of at least one head-scratching or shoulder-shrugging moment that reminds you how removed you are from the world.

Magic Slippers

It might seem totally pedestrian (pun totally intended), but one of the most impressive things about the Vietnamese is that most of them seem to have an innate ability to, when entering a no-shoes area, slip out of their sandals (nearly mid-stride) with an effortless grace that no foreigner could ever hope to mimic.

I’ve tried several times to improve my sandal-shedding skills, but to no avail: I inevitably wind up lagging behind, shake-wriggling myself out of my footwear, trying to look cool the whole time (which never works). The only (minor) consolation for me is that I’ve noticed several Vietnamese struggling to properly tie their shoelaces.

Nonetheless, I’ve given up pursuing sandal-shedding perfection and moved on to more important matters such as, where the hell can I find a good hamburger?

Coined Verb No. 184

Viet•nam (v.)

To accomplish something in the fastest, cheapest way possible without the use of know-how or logic.

Example:
“The building went up in less than six months, with the crew having Vietnamed most of it, replacing ingenuity and foresight with hope and guesswork, willing the structure into place through sheer force of will.”