Recently, I went out on my first Tinder date (insert shock face).

Yes, it’s true…but I’m not into the whole “let’s just bonk” aspect…personally, it’s not for me but I get it..and if you need to get …it..I get it. Sooooo yeah, we went to see a gallery- a new cool place that just opened in D2 called The Factory. They had an exhibition we wanted to go see and then we planned to go out for drinks in D2, a district known to be the place “to move” for expats in HCMC. My buddy on his 50cc dirt bike and me on my shitty (but very fast) scooter, raced from D3 to D2. There’s this thing I really love about Saigon where at night, after say, 8pm, the roads clear out and you can drive easy, without having to stop and bop and brake and fuck-all like in the middle of the day or rush hour. Going out to D2, there are these long stretches of road between red lights where you can just drive really fast, it’s so open. So fun!

Well, since I got here, I make it a point to take new roads and new routes so I can learn where everything connects up. This last month I just got lost all the time. Sometimes on purpose but that was a rarity. I spent many minutes pulled over on the side of roads, staring at my iPhone, trying to figure out where the heck I was. That’s another thing I like about Saigon, you can literally just pull over just about anywhere; on the freeway, highway, mini-tiny street, during rush hour. You can literally just obstruct traffic and not care and people will just cruise around you. I don’t exercise that last one but it seems like it would be no problem! The other day I was driving and this man had broken down directly in the center of the huge intersection and he’s just out there with tools and some tubing, one wheel off, repairing the thing!

Whoa, sidetrack, so, I use maps all time and I have a habit of tucking my iPhone into my bra so if I am lost, I can easily access my phone. Nature’s pocket, right? And, since I rarely wear clothing that has pockets, I use my natural pocket. My phone. Unfortunately, I rely a lot on my phone right now. Seeing as I just moved here, it’s my constant connection for jobs and other life-adjusting-to-a-new-city type situations.

Trippy artwork with mirrored kaleidoscopes
Trippy artwork with mirrored kaleidoscopes

So, we get to the gallery and it’s an unfortunate situation as the event we were to attend was over but the staff were cool and let us come in and see the exhibition anyway. So, they had this guy who makes super trippy art that is meant to be seen through a kaleidoscope-type object but it’s not. It was more simple than that, just mirrors in the shape of a triangle that reflected off the other. So, you take the “kaleidoscope” and look at the painting and it turns it into this crazy moving color-scape. Amazing and super fun. And the room was done in black light with neon and black-light reactive paints.

Then, we moved on to see the other works but I guess there were two artists who had collections that were deemed inappropriate by the government and a bunch of police came and covered all the pieces with brown paper. I tried to sneak glances through the sides of the paper to see what was the big deal but couldn’t, really. But what I thought was a bit more strange is then the 3rd exhibition…. to me…. had this whole vagina/Georgia O’Keefe except done with dried fruit goo. Another had some cool luchador collage 2D masks and then we go to the largest exhibition of them all and the whole thing…covered! Bummage.

Shut down, son
Shut down, son
Lady Luchador
Lady Luchador

So then we were like, fuck it, let’s go get some wine and chat. We get to this cute wine bar, have a little nosh, some good red vinos and then I want to show him something so I reach for my phone… which isn’t there. No Way!

So, I’m turning my bag inside out. See, I have very specific pocket I put my phone in when it’s not resting between my apples, so I start doing research. I go outside, I’m looking around, checking all around the bike, inside, outside to no avail. The barmen start asking us and they start to ask around. We ask the scooter attendant. Nothing. My bud had an iPhone so we log into the Find My iPhone app and we load it up, my phone is just around the corner in the side street, which was strange because I had never stepped foot over there. Thankfully, the icon is stable. So, we bop outside, we’re looking around and nothing. We go back inside, people start asking what’s up, we just confused and laughing and a bit stressed, like, WTH is going on and then my bud remembered that you can sound an alarm.

Kinda sad
Kinda sad

We pop back into the side street and the phone is starting to sing. Where do I find it? It had been tucked into a tree trough and covered by a beer bottle. WHAAAAT?!

We get back into the bar and I hold up the phone. There’s all this excitement from the group because there were such few of us and it was like…a whole thingy by then and everyone is relived! And cheering! Ha ha!

I just was thinking like…whaaaaaaa, $600 phone- so lucky! The whole time I was preparing myself for a big loss but this app really pulled through and given the situation, I was lucky the person did not turn off the phone or take off with it. I hate phones. If I wasn’t so reliant on it, I would throw into the Mekong.

None-the-less, it was a really fun night. Good company, small adventures, a bit of drama with a happy ending. That’s what she said. Ha.

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