Pink Polish and Fruit Talk 

This summer has been most eventful. Internships, beach days (very few), movies, friends and family sums up the many things that kept me occupied. However, the most memorable experience for me thus far was a simple trip to the nail salon.

It was time for a much needed manicure, my new manicurist warned me about the dangers of cutting your cuticles instead of pushing them back. As many times as I had been to this particular salon, I had never been serviced by this particular person. He welcomed me into his station, and got straight to work. He and I joked about which colors would look good on me, and which would not. We both settled for a burst of orange and pink tones. This color is much more vibrant in person. I have learned that many colors, people, places and things are always much more vibrant when experienced up close and personal.

My manicure was complete and my new friend was handling a business transaction with a colleague. I did not know that this salon was owned by a Vietnamese family until this point. Instantly I recognized the language they were speaking- I had been teaching myself simple Vietnamese phrases. I decided that although my manicure was done, I wanted to learn more about my new friend. I joined him as he took a break from work, and asked if he wouldn’t mind chatting for a bit. I was in for a real treat! We practiced some of my spoken Vietnamese, and he told me about his home town near the Mekong Delta. I was so happy to have the opportunity to experience some of Vietnam here in my own hometown. Although I love my vibrant pink polish, it was not as memorable as the fruit talk.

He gave me a list of places to eat, mostly mom and pop kinds of restaurants. Then he pulled out a fruit called Longan. He handed me one, and told me that they were most commonly found in the south near Saigon. The outside of the fruit was rough and shell like. This reminded me of a Qenepa- a similar fruit found mostly in the Caribbean. I cracked it open, and the inside was as if I had peeled a green grape. Just one bite, and my mouth was filled with juice that tasted like a melon. I was fascinated- a fruit I had never been exposed to, resembled so many of the fruits I have been accustomed to eating. After having a few more Longans, I thanked my new friend for spending time with me during his busy work day and headed back home.

I am so grateful to have had this experience. As I walked home, my heart smiled. I was suddenly super eager  to board my flight on September 4th, and I began counting down the days. Today I continue my count down…10 days left. See you soon Vietnam.

  • TJ