Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gimme Shelter

So an American girl, Australian girl, Irish girl and a Brit all head to Saigon…sounds like the beginning of a dirty joke doesn't it???

Well here you have it, the much overdue Easter in Saigon wrap-up.

When my boss (an American) questioned where I would be over the long weekend and I told him Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), he was like wow! that will be really great for you to see as an American….a lot of history! Of course I knew he was talking about the history of the Vietnam War but did I really even know about the Vietnam War…that would be a big NOPE. The first thing that came to mind were the numerous movies depicting the war but I don’t really remember the stories only all those sweaty, dirty, smoking guys….I digress. SO just like my Wolf Blitzer cram sessions, I started reading anything I could get my hands on V.W. related in an effort to be able to “hold my own” when exploring all the HCM had to offer.

I think we were reading about it here…see how interested I am???

Our first full day we headed to the Cu Chi tunnels which were about 1.5 hours outside of the city. The tunnels are approx. 250K long and the narrowest things. It is very hard to believe that men could actually fit in them. That was an advantage western men couldn't fit in them! The tunnels were so well hidden and complex that they ran right under American bases. American’s could not figure out why they were getting shot in their tents at night!

VC soldier getting into tunnel…

We were able to stuff ourselves into a portion of the tunnel (widened for westerners) and it was the darkest, hottest most claustrophobic places I have ever been. It was pretty scary. As we crawled through we had to keep talking to each other because we were all freaking out.

The descent

I have to say walking though the forest where the tunnels were located was an experience. All that reading and all those movies started to flash in my head. I seriously felt that I should have a Marlboro red hanging out or my mouth, full-on camouflage and helmut with the Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter playing as the soundtrack. The gun shots from the shooting range def. added to the atmosphere.

Girls with US tank destroyed by landmine

The second highlight was the War Remnants Museum. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! The photos in the museum were amazing, I mean totally amazing. They actually made you feel like you were there and as you can imagine that was not always a great thing. Guess who got emotional??? Shocker right???

The most interesting part was the Agent Orange section where they described and documented the damage done by the use of chemical weapons. There was actually the fetus of Siamese twins with cleft palates in mason jars…gross I know but completely fascinating. We all discussed how one-sided the museum was to the Vietnamese (not surprising) but it was amazing to see these images and read stories that you would never be able to back home.

Hummm….I can sense your concern right now….don’t worry I am still JenniB and there was certainly time for food and drink. My favorite restaurant and really my favorite night of the whole trip was Temple Club. Traditional Vietnamese food, great atmosphere, super cheap oh and it does help that I read Brad and Angelina ate there when they were in HCM….I was SOLD!

After dinner drinks in Temple Club Lounge

Our Hotel AKA love boat…dosen't it remind you of the love boat?

View from our terrace

Finally, to top off the trip I bought my first real piece of is beautiful!!! It is getting framed right now but I will take a picture (once Phil hangs it) and post!!

I am actually listening to Gimme Shelter right now…..

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Memories: Good Times with the B's.....

Hello!! I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend.

Easter brings back fond memories of coloring eggs with the B clan. We, of course, had the traditional PAAS tablets that turned the eggs one (sometimes) bright color and for the more adventurous and patient, a two-toned egg by dipping one side in at a time. My most vivid memory, however, was the whole production of Mr. B’s eggs. Unlike the rest of us (the kids) that had our glasses of green, red or orange dye, Mr. B had a big bowl where he would put drops of this liquid dye then blow the colors around to make a swirling array of colors. We would all stare in amazement as dad gently blew the dye to make the “perfect” mixture. Once ready (about ½ hour later), it was time to dip the first egg. Seriously, you would think that Dad was about to create Faberge eggs the way we all held our breath as he loaded the egg on the wire holder. One thing I need to mention is that the strange thing about this dye is that the egg took on the color as soon as it hit the water so placement was of the up-most importance. So with egg on wire holder in hand, Dad would find what he thought to be the best spot and start to lower the egg into the water, inevitably (seriously everytime) the egg would fall off the holder and splash into the water only to come out with one side looking like someone got sick on it, the other blank and most of the time cracked.

Mom: Oh Mike...keep your hand steady..gimme the egg!
Dad: [mad face...silence]
Kids: Kind of scared and slowly losing interest as our eggs sat at the bottom of paas filled glasses.

In the event of crackage, Mom would make one of the kids eat it since it could not be redipped…average of 3 eggs per kid (after dinner)!! I will never forget the year that in an effort to avoid incident explained above, Dad had the idea to tie a piece of thread around the egg and spin it into the water for maximum color coverage. For those of you who know my dad, he does not have the slimmest fingers; actually they are like sausages so the pure comedy (actually stress) of him trying to tie the tread almost brought down the whole egg coloring operation. Unfortunately this McGuyver-like idea didn't really work either as most of the eggs came out looking like a bad acid trip.

By the end of two dozen eggs, me, my bros and sister would head to our rooms with red, green, yellow stained fingers, totally over the coloring experience and full from the cracked hard-boiled eggs, mom, unhappy with the less than perfect eggs, would spend the rest of the evening redipping and dad angered from his less than perfect attempts would retire to the family room with his matzo (the Easter staple in the B household) to contemplate next year’s strategy. Good Times!

In all seriousness, it may not read like it and the above may sound like no fun at all but it really is one of my fondest memeories of growing up. That's the B's, warts and all and I wouldn't change a thing.

PS Vietnam weekend wrap-up tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Would. You. Die!

Centava Dozier, a 21 year old female from Houston, TX got a very unexpected surprise after waking up from a nap aboard an American Airlines flight.

Dozier was on a flight from DFW International airport to Los Angeles, CA, to visit some family and friends. When the flight took off, she was sitting on an unoccupied row on the plane and decided to get some rest.

When she woke up, she found a sticky substance in her hair along with a man masturbating in the seat right next to her!!!!!!

According to reports, Dozier claims that when she went to ask the flight attendants for help and to have the pervert removed from the seat next to her and taken to his assigned seat, the staff did nothing.

Thankfully, the man was arrested when the plane landed though.

Dozeir has filed a $200,000 suit against American Airlines, claiming that a passenger masturbated next to her and then ejaculated in her hair while she slept, and that the crew failed to assist her afterwards.

Representatives for American Airlines maintain that their staff aboard the plane took appropriate action and had the individual arrested upon arrival.

Thankfully I can not sleep on planes!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Miss Saigon

Just as I have started to get over the real life stinks and I miss vacation attitude, I learned that my waitlist has cleared and I will be celebrating the resurrection of Christ in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam. WOO-HOO! I love 3 day weekends!!!!!!!!! Helen Rachel, Maree and I are heading out on Thursday afternoon for a girl's weekend filled with culture, food, drink, spa and shopping. I hear that you can get clothes made there in a day for like no money so I have spent the weekend pulling photos out of magazines in the hope are creating a new wardrobe. Most of the things that I have read compare HCM to New York so I am not sure if this trip is going to fulfill my New York craving or just make me really home sick…let's hope for the former.

I miss you guys!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bad Blogger

I know, I know I have been totally MIA. Once again, work has gotten in the way of my social activities. I am also sorry to say that I can not really “talk” but I will leave you with this little story.

Picture it…team drinks, group of 6.. guests include President of the region , COO, other members of senior management and this new guys who recently transferred from the U.S. President decides to get the conversation flowing by starting a game of Two Truths and a Lie. For those not familiar with this game, you tell two true things and one false and everyone has to guess what the lie is. Game starts and you hear the typical, innocent answers: I have 10 cats, I have two belly buttons…stupid stuff UNTIL we get to the American guy. What gems does he come up with:

1) I gave a guy a blow job
2) I have been in jail
3) I lost my virginity to a family member

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????????????????? Everyone at the table just didn’t know what to do!!!!! This is a work function!!

#1 was the false statement! Yes he lost it to a family member (his aunt).

The scenario I like to imagine in my head is that he had sex with a family member who was a minor, went to jail where he gave a guy a blow job.

He’s not climbing the corporate ladder.

Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Are you really surprised???

Monday, March 3, 2008

Vacation (Part 1)

Hey everyone (read that using a low depressed voice!) Today is my first day back to work after a wonderful 2 week vacation. Depressed and sad can almost sum up the way I feel. That being said, it was the best vacation I have ever experienced and much has to do with my wonderful travel companions, Kelly, Adam, Phil, Daniela and Rita LOVE YOU GUYS!

Of course the beautiful destinations helped to achieve the “best vacation status”..Cambodia, Bangkok and Railey Beach (Thailand). It was the perfect blend of history, culture, shopping, food, sporty activities and pure relaxation! I am going to spread out my review and explanation of the trip over the week so I can relive just a little longer!

LOCATION: Singapore
Days 1-4

Friday, February 15th
I was so excited to welcome my first guests to Singapore! I was all ready, Rita was due to arrive on SATURDAY at 12 something AM with the NYC crew landing at 6:30am on SUNDAY. I had an early dinner with my friend Helen Friday night so I could be well rested for the arrivals on SATURDAY and SUNDAY. I have to mention here that I was so excited to pick everyone up at the airport. In all my 33 years, I have never met anyone before…how exciting!!

So FRIDAY NIGHT around 1am (really SATURDAY) I was fast asleep and my cell phone starts ringing. I thought it was prob some drunk dialing so I turned over and tried to resume my slumber until I heard the message indicator go off so I decided to see who was out and what they wanted. That is when I hear Rita on the message saying that she was at the airport and could not find me… ME: What?? What??? But she is supposed to be here on Saturday! Saturday!! Then I really thought about it and seeing that it was after was Saturday WHAT A DUMBASS! So I officially messed up my first airport pick-up! I am such a loser!

Saturday, February 16th

Thankfully Rita was not too upset with me and we were able to enjoy some local food ~ Singapore style.

We headed to the hawker center and enjoyed some BBQ stingray and durian (see pic below). Durian is the strangest fruit you will ever eat. The consistency is that of runny cheese and it smells like dirty gym socks (no kidding it is banned from public transportation) but it is delicious!

Sunday, February 17th
Kelly, Adam, Daniela and Phil (he was in NYC for business) arrived at 6:30am and I am happy to report I was there on time! We all headed back to my condo and settled in before champagne brunch which began at Noon. We had a table for 12 -- a mix of old and new friends and it was fabulous. We ate, drank and drank some more until the brunch concluded at 3:00pm.

Kelly & Daniela at brunch

Me (looking trashed), Alex, Val and Helen

Me and Phil

What do you think we went home??? Nope, we all hoped a water taxi and headed to the Pump Room for some more beverages. The day was beautiful so we sat outside enjoyed the beer (brewed by our friend Alex) and watched as some of the group frolicked in the fountains. NYC crew, see Adam for some video footage of Kelly’s fall and Daniela’s awesome reaction. I can laugh at this one since there was no injuries, however, it is all fun and games until someone breaks or seriously bruises a rib (poor K)

Me, Adam, Rita and Rachel on water taxi

So you think we went home now…kind of! We headed back to my condo where we sat by the pool and drank even more and enjoyed some late night swimming. At one point in the JenniB way, I decided I wanted to make a toast to which my Singapore friend replied, Yes Jenn we know you love us...jeez am I really that predictable??

Monday, February 18th

LAST DAY OF WORK. Needless to say this was one of the worst days of my life!! I was extremely hung over and had to leave Phil, Daniela and Kelly swimming in the pool…BASTARDS!

Thankfully the day went by quickly and all that was left between my fat ass and an airplane seat to Cambodia was a dinner of chili crab and other local that I can handle.

Tuesday, February 19th
7:00am flight to Cambodia!