The First Thing to Know Before Visiting Vietnam – Do Not Visit Vietnam!

As you read this, I am on a plane to Vietnam.  The most important thing I learned during my recent “Visiting Vietnam Orientation” was that under no circumstances should I ever visit Vietnam.  Just kidding!  (If you read the previous sentence backwards, it spells – “Help!  They’re taking me to Vietnam!”)  Okay, now I’m REALLY kidding!  (Please, I’m begging you!  Read the last sentence backwards and call the FBI.)

My orientation on visiting Vietnam was conducted by someone, who for the purpose of this column, I will refer to as “Tina.”  This is because her name is Tina. 

Tina is marrying my fake nephew Kian.  Our families have been friends long before any of us had kids, so I have been Kian’s fake uncle since his birth.  Not to brag, but I’m about as legit a “Fake Uncle” as you can get. 

Anyway, Tina and Kian are getting married in her home country of Vietnam, and so everybody’s packing up and heading to Vietnam.  Tina and Kian wisely invited us to Vietnam BEFORE Tina presented her orientation on Vietnam.  We have decided to show them how much we love them by agreeing to contract the Coronavirus.

The three most important things I learned during Tina’s orientation were:

First, Vietnamese mosquitoes are the size of carrier pigeons.  She recommended we carry a small telescoping baton to beat the creatures away.  However, this is only effective if we are assaulted by a single mosquito.  If we are assaulted by a pack or “herd” of Vietnamese mosquitoes, we are supposed to lay down and “play dead” – like you’re supposed to do when you confront a bear.  (I think.) 

Second, there is a 75% chance we will be struck and killed trying to cross the street.  Tina showed us a YouTube video on how to cross the street.  The video showed a skinny white guy slowly step out into a stream of moving traffic – and here is the critical fact – the traffic DOES NOT STOP.  He steps out into the stream, and the cars, motorcycles, camels and all other means of conveyance just keep moving forward and dodging him as he slowly creeps across. 

They say that there is a significant difference between being a “traveler” and being a “tourist.”  Let me be clear, I am a “tourist.”  Travelers eat locally roasted bugs.  Tourists eat Big Macs.

Third, in a cunning move to get revenge on Americans’ failed imperialist attempt to conquer their country, the Vietnamese government adds a chemical to its drinking water.  One sip, and this special additive makes every American as sick as a goose that’s overdosed on Metamucil.  It starts pouring out of both ends.  Welcome to Vietnam!  It’s Dee-lightful!

By now, I am curled up in a fetal position in seat 33A heading to Saigon.  I’m clutching a baton, a nuclear grade water filtration bottle and an industrial sized bottle of Xanax (to help me cross the street).  I’m also wearing a set of dog tags so they can identify my body.

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