Hanoi, via Scavenger Hunt

Not a challenge: finding people doing wedding photos. Hanoi provides many majestic points for people shots.

Not a challenge: finding people doing wedding photos. Hanoi provides many majestic points for people shots.

We had been travelling together for over a month, had seen three separate countries, had spent countless hours with one another. We had taken meals together, slept in the same rooms, waited for one another to finish hogging the damned bathroom. We had helped carry heavy backpacks, helped each other fill out immigration forms, helped each other recover from hangovers. We had talked constantly: about life, about the world, about teaching, about Korea, about ourselves. I knew Faith and Ty about as closely as I could know anyone, and the only step further I could have taken would have been to begin collecting blood and hair samples for DNA analysis.

We were running low on things to talk about.

Thus when we arrived in Hanoi, Faith suggested we construct a scavenger hunt. Sitting in a café, face deep in bowls of phở, we began coming up with ideas of what strange, bewildering sights we might try to seek in Vietnam. I had been to the country once before and chose some things to make the game more challenging and competitive. But really, we just needed a change of pace. We were going to eat the food, we were going to see the things, we were going to walk the walks. Couldn’t we also be on the hunt for interesting novelty along the way?

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The Scavenger Hunt: A Shame Spiral in Pictures and Words

Koreans: make them wear a wig.

I expend a great deal of effort trying not to be a douchebag. For many Koreans, there is a lingering stereotype of foreigners, particularly those who arrive in their great nation to educate their children in Englishee: that we are loud, obnoxious, drunken boors who do nothing but laze about all day, slurping back beer, and rubbing our enormous, swollen bellies and genitals in a flurry of perversion and gluttony. I try to combat this by being steadfastly upstanding, trying not to laugh too hard, and keeping my boorishness at bay. The Rocky Mountain Tavern scavenger hunt, featuring an array of challenges ranging from fun and interesting to dastardly and repulsive, required me to throw all these social mores and sense of dignity to the wind.

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