Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hello! My name is Phước.

Nice to meet you.

I went to my first Vietnamese lesson today. The professor is really nice. She was telling us how she used to be a teacher in Vietnam, and how very different the school system is from the one in the United States. I guess today we learned more about culture than of the actual Vietnamese language (we learned some greetings and stuff), but I found it to be very interesting so it's all good. Finally, I should mention that there's a very cute Vietnamese girl in the class. Yep.

After class, I was still in the Vietnamese "mood" so of course I went for Vietnamese food. The owner of the restaurant I frequent the most is a very nice guy (I will call him Mr. An from now on) - I guess he's gotten to know me a bit over time since I go to his place so much, and has even let me borrow some of his Vietnamese DVD's because he knows I enjoy watching them at the restaurant. Anyway, I told him that I had taken my first Vietnamese lesson today, and that the Vietnamese name that was given to me by the professor was Phước (which supposedly means "blessing". Pretty sweet, huh?). He laughed, but then he said that I should work for him on the weekends, and that way I'd pick up the language very quickly. He seemed serious about it too. I just told him I'd consider it once I learned more Vietnamese - it definitely sounds like a good idea, at least in my head. I can't help but entertain the thought of what the Vietnamese customers will think when they walk in there and see a Puerto Rican guy take their order - in Vietnamese.

(I don't know Vietnamese yet, so please imagine the following conversation is not in English)

Me: May I take your order?
Customer: *blinking* Uhh, yeah. Small bowl of Pho Tai, please.
Me: Sure thing.
Customer: Hey, are you Vietnamese?
Me: ... ^_^

...Yeah, it would be too good.

Monday, August 25, 2008

do I look Vietnamese?

...maybe if you look at me from an airplane, yeah. I was born in Puerto Rico some 25 years ago, and I don't have the hair, the eyes, nor the color, but a cute Vietnamese girl asked me if I was Vietnamese the other day. Needless to say, hilarity ensued as I looked up from signing the receipt to pay for the delicious cơm gà rôti plate I just had, and she had the chance to reflect on what she had just asked me. I was kinda stunned so I couldn't come up with anything smart/witty to say, but I'll be ready for next time, haha.

Speaking of Vietnamese, tomorrow I begin taking Vietnamese lessons. I'm kind of excited but nervous at the same time. I really want to learn the language. I figure I go to Vietnamese restaurants so much, I might as well. It really sucks meeting all these nice people at the different places I go to, and not being able to carry on (a lot of times) a decent conversation due to the language barrier. I'm somewhat nervous because I'm still intimidated by the different entonations of the vowels, and how two words can sound so similar but have different meanings. Like, at first I couldn't tell the difference between how cá (fish) and
gà (chicken) sounded. I hope it doesn't take me too long to figure it out and get used to it - we'll see how it goes.

So yep, I'm looking forward to the end of the semester already. At which point I should be able to say something witty to that cute girl at the restaurant. Like, I dunno, responding with a simple "yes"?
. Let's just hope I don't mispronounce it and end up calling her fat, or something.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

just opened

I just opened this blog today. In here I plan to post when I think I have something interesting to say. This is my first blog so I pray that you bear with me while I get the hang of it.