Men with Machine Guns=No Pictures..usually

“Stop asking people with machine guns if you can take their picture.  That’s just stupid.”.  After Thom tried to rationalize his behavior while sharing our adventures in Saigon with our son James, he was having none of it and proceeded to lecture his dad sternly via Skype.  Someone’s got to be the adult and that is obviously James not Thom.

Uzi needed to guard the Finance Bldg in Saigon
Uzi needed to guard the Finance Bldg in Saigon

So, lots of people ask what our kids think about us living in China and having crazy adventures.  When it first came up, my daughter was none too thrilled about China preferring I get a spot in London or anywhere else where she might want to visit.  That wasn’t an option so China it was and she was very supportive though will probably never visit while we are here as she is very busy with being a wife and new Mom to Mia.  We miss her terribly.

James is still in college so he has more flexibility to visit us on school breaks and was receptive to spending time in China.  So he has been able to spend months with us in China over the school holidays and explore with us, though he doesn’t find randomly walking the streets to be much fun like we do.  He likes to travel with a purpose and preferably in cooler weather like Seattle where he goes to school and always plans his days with food in mind.  Boy, do 21 year old boys like to eat–all the time!  His favorite activities with us were tobogganing down the Great Wall, sea kayaking in Hong Kong but mostly eating chicken pot pies delivered to our door in Shanghai by an expat online Pie Shop.  James declared them DELICIOUS-high praise indeed though I strongly believe there is no such thing as bad pie (or wine for that matter) but I’m not so picky.

Today, as we shared our fun times in Vietnam, James scolded Thom for his risk taking.  “You could get killed or arrested.  Stop it!”.  Like Thom will stop behaving badly-NOT!  In the never ending pursuit of cool photos, Thom had seen a building in Saigon and wanted to take a picture of it.  Of course, seeing the armed military guard caressing an Uzi machine gun didn’t stop him even after the guard pursued him and told him, “No pictures.”. Most rational people would apologize quickly and walk away even faster.  But, nooooooo, not Thom-he smiled and asked the guard if he could take HIS picture and asked about the building’s purpose. It was a government Finance Building and, no, the guard didn’t want his picture taken.  You think he wants to end up on Facebook or Twitter??  Hell No!!!  Of course, Thom got his shot and it will soon be all over social media.  Oops!

They do like to protect their government buildings in Saigon.  We ended up behind a chain link rope around one building somehow and when we needed to exit to cross the street, unfortunately we found ourselves having to jump over the chain but now it had barbed wire wound through it.  Now, I’m in a skirt and trying not to impale myself on this as I slowly executed a maneuver to get over it.  Yikes!  I think I flashed the traffic passing by but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do to keep on having adventures.  This is also why we now carry a first aid kid with us at all times.  Be prepared is our motto-the worst can and will happen in a foreign country, which makes for good memories and interesting stories to share.  Back to Shanghai tomorrow!

Thom doing what he does so well
Thom doing what he does so well

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