ask yourself this question: what would you do if everything you heard…every radio, loud speaker, cell phone ring, supposed-to-be-entertainment-on-long-bus-rides “music videos,” EVERYTHING, besides the noise of incessant honking or rain patter, sounded like the beginning to “hopelessly devoted to you” on the Grease soundtrack?

(need a quick reminder? here you go:

you’d kill yourself, right? well, let me assure you, i’m just about to my breaking point.

now, don’t get me wrong. i love grease. i love olivia newton john and idolized her snazzy black (p)leather getup. i know all the moves to “grease lightening” and have belted out “look at me, i’m sandra dee” (complete with motions) too many times to count.

“I don’t drink! (no)
Or swear! (no)
I don’t rat my hair! (eew)
I get ill from one cigarette! (cough, cough, cough)
Keep your filthy paws, off my silky draws! Would you pull that crap with Annette?”

love it.

i played that soundtrack front to back, back to front, over and over and over again. ask my parents. i was 10. i loved it. best christmas gift ever.

that said, there was one song too lame to ever listen to. this was clear to me at 10 years old, and the same holds true today. number 3 on the cd (fine, i just looked that up). skipped every time. i didnt want to hear about how painstakingly awful olivia’s breakup was, or how she could only ignore her heart for so long, and frankly, i don’t want to hear it now. please. let’s be honest. john travolta isn’t even all that cute. get over it. let’s get on to the more exciting things! lets rock out to the hand jive and forget all this sappy stuff, right?!

i know i’m sounding awfully cynical here. a real “debbie downer” on the breakup front. i know it’s unfair. hell, i’ve had my fair share of breakups (right kev? :))! i know what it feels like to be in misery over a man! (ha!) to be fair, as i’m sure many of you are familiar with, when you break up with someone you love you feel like the world’s gonna end. no. you WANT the world to end. all you want to do is sit, cry, and wallow in self-pity (alright, fine, maybe that’s just me:)). i don’t want anyone to tell me that it’s going to be alright. i don’t want to get up and go do something. i want to sit. cry. and wallow. oh, and listen to horribly sappy, horribly depressing music. like natalie merchant, or bonnie raitt’s “i cant make you love me.”

oh yeah. that’s a killer.
(and if it’s raining, thunder-storming, or just plain grey outside +10 pts).

we’ve all got our songs. phill collins (take a look at me now). the beatles (eleanor rigby). styx (babe). R.E.M. (everybody hurts). bob dylan’s (positively 4th Street). damien rice (every single song he has ever written). or my personal favorite, the postal service (nothing better).

(it seems that the rockers of the world really have this down pat.)

in the past, listening to ungodly depressing music puts the mess of jumbled feelings that i couldn’t (or didn’t want to) sort out to some sort of order. it made me feel better that someone, someone far more poetic or articulate than i will ever be, could pin-point my sorrow and could put words to it. someone understands. someone understands, and feels no shame in wallowing. you can indulge in your patheticness. yes, lindsay. you can. it’s alright. no need to feel guilty. it feels good. wallow baby, wallow.

friends of breakup-ees know that there really is nothing they can do for their friend in this state. the breakupee has extraordinary powers, complete with the ability to suck their friend (mother, father, brother, dog) into an enormous pit of all-encompassing quick-sand depression. all thebreakupee wants to do is be sad, and they have no qualms about taking hostages (as many as that may be) in their quest to immerse themselves in cheerlessness. everyone knows at this point, it’s better to just let the wallowing run it’s course and check in every now and again to make sure they’re not dead.

fine. i understand. i really do. it’s therapeutic. but PLEASE just answer me this. how does an ENTIRE COUNTRY of people all need to wallow ALL AT THE SAME TIME (ALL THE TIME)!?? that’s all i want to know.

it’s been raining here for the last 36+ hours straight. nay, not raining (sound familiar :)), POURING. raining like i have never seen. apparently there have already been 20 deaths in hanoi (where we’re currently staying). i’m sure that is not helping my cause any. yesterday morning, i ventured outside around 2 pm, my hunger giving me strength, to find some bread for a breakfast/lunch/snack, only to find the water in the streets up to my thigh. it’s grey. it’s raining. it’s depressing. and the only sound to be heard short of the rain and honking, is that of “hopelessly devoted to you.”

i don’t know what it is about the viets. every single (i swear to god) music video kev and i have watched on tv (and the last few days, that has been A LOT) has followed this plot line.
boy likes girl.
girl likes boy.
boy and girl are happy.
another boy comes in the picture.
boy #1 gets dumped.
constantly sees girl with new boy.
boy very depressed.
lots of sad singing, distraught facial expressions and tears.
girl somehow dies…car accident (hit and run, runs into the car, in a car and is t-boned), terminal disease, suicide.
boy #1 is hopelessly depressed forever.

it seems people here like to wallow. which is fine, but i’m sick of going down with them.

where’s some bohemian rhapsody when you need it? somehow, that song talks about someone’s mom killing someone, and then killing herself, and STILL manages to be upbeat and dance-friendly!!!

in other, still noise-related news, i need to make quick mention to the loud speakers.

while the my list of faults seems to not only be endless, but also seems to be on display on our blog every other day, i must let you in on another. when i’m tired or hungry, i get VERY grumpy. if i remember correctly, i think kev has made mention to fearing for his life because i was overly hungry, and might beat him in an earlier post. this is not far from the truth, as many of you who know me can attest. i’m a terrible person. i cant help myself. that said. back to the loud speakers.

we are in the capitol of vietnam. a city where war propaganda posters still dominate every street corner. a city where many people wear military helmets accompanying their daily attire. although this is turning in to a somewhat “debbie downer” post itself (although i really do feel perfectly happy, albeit slightly agitated), i must say strictly for the chance to dictate thoughts, feelings etc per kev’s request, that the people here are rude. we’ve heard for however many miles now, that the further north we go, the less friendly people get. not wanting to get sucked into that mentality (we seriously have loved vietnam!!!), i didn’t think much of it. but as it turns out, it’s true. really, it makes sense. these really were the people we were fighting us in the vietnam war. seeing a white face, i’m sure can only bring about feelings of anger, frustration, and annoyance. sure. i understand. but i must say, i am tired of the unfriendly, unhelpful. unsmiley faces. okay. i digress. back to the loud speakers.

every morning, at approximately 6:05am-7:45am, the city’s loudspeaker BELTS out propaganda (and local news) about all kinds of things: war, birth control, abortions, civil disobediances, etc. now, i understand that this might be the most efficient way to communicate with members of their community. without access to many tv’s, the loud speakers can do the job tv commericals can, and at a fraction of the cost. but at 6AM?! REALLY?! i swear to god, if i were vietnamese, i would do everything in my power to avoid listening to the government’s “news,” no matter what the cost. ear phones, ear plugs, ambient noise, a LOUD BEEPING ALARM CLOCK, ANYTHING would be better, than being woken up out of a wonderful, relaxing sleep to listen to the damn loudspeaker at 6am every morning. 6am is to early to do anything besides sleep. seriously people. and, as you might expect, not only did the loudspeaker happen to be parked right infront of my bedroom window, but at the beginning and the end of the “news” broadcast is the music. the hopelessly devoted music. what a way to start your morning.

finally. on far happier, and (i think) funnier note, 2 more tiny, itsy, bitsy stories, as this post is getting longer than is worth reading.

story number 1: the market.

two days ago, kev and i went on a mission to find dried squid to bring home as presents for all of you (suprise!). it, as i have mentioned, was raining cats and dogs, and i had neglected to bring my poncho. even still, i had managed to get to the market relatively dry, and was feeling quite proud of myself for doing so. (i was sliding around corners, crouching in small areas, dodging mopeds, really, quite ninja-like in my quest to stay dry). this market is a HUGE, strictly vietnamese market. i am not sure i saw one white person there the entire time. perfectly fine by me. disheartened about the fact that we could not find a place to have our favorite snack packaged to be brought home (sorry, i didn’t want to be smelling like a fish for the rest of our trip :)) i decided we should check one more place before heading home. since it’s pouring outside, kev suggests that we wait a second to see if it lets up a little. me, inpatient as always, say, “oh come on! we’ve made it all this way without getting that wet! i have mastered the art of tarp-running, and i know i can make it to that next one without getting very wet.” alright. so we’re off. i’m running, dodging things, and make it, no problem, to the tarp. i turn and smile victoriously at kev and am just about to say, “SEE?!” when i hear a loud RIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppppppPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP! i look up, just in time for the tarp above me to break. down pours the mornings rain (and other disgusting things i’d rather not mention) all over my head. kev was spared and as you can imagine, found all of this quite funny. the butt of yet another “the world is against lindsay” joke. the smileless hanoian people all seem to lose their frowns and are all laughing, staring and pointing at me, now soaking head to toe. i look down. shit. note to self: rainy days are not good days to wear a white t-shirt.

you go white girl.
story number 2: halloween.

this story is just pathetic. this is a story about nothing (GO SEINFIELD!) wearing nothing orange, black or costumesque. eating no candy, sweet snacks or carmel apples. carving no pumpkins. not even drinking a beer. just sitting in hanoi. rained in. watching THE SIMPSON’S HALLOWEEN MARATHON for like 3 hours straight before falling asleep by 9pm. we’re quite the cool cats. but couldn’t even manage to be the black kind.

story number 3: the most beautiful girl in the world.

the other day, i met a group of vietnamese teenagers while waiting for kev to get out of the internet cafe (surprise, surprise). we were chatting it up, and having a nice little conversation about how old they were, what their names were, where they were from, what they did in their city, etc, when one of the girls looks at me and says, “you know, you could be the most beautiful girl i have ever seen……if you didn’t have these….”

and points to a freckle.

classic. too bad freckles are now covering 2/3rds of my body.
there goes my aspiration of attempting for miss universe.

love and miss you all.
keep the noise down, please,

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