Consulate, Culture, and Cute Puppets

Day 5: 5.10.19

Today we visited the US Consulate, and I learned that the kind of work a foreign officer does is dependent upon the sector there in and where they are sent, because each country has it’s own unique issues and diplomatic relations. The cons include the several rounds of testing it takes to even be considered for the position and the possibility of having to deal with less than desirable conditions such as lack of good healthcare in lesser developed countries. But the pros are that the job is never boring and you get the opportunity to live in places that many people only ever dream of visiting. After the pitch that the presenters gave, I’m sure the job appealed to the majority of the people in the room, but I would seriously consider it as a career after I spend some years as an industrial engineer consultant. Moving around every couple of years is a part of the job that even sounds enticing because I’ve been doing that my entire life as a military child.

Culture and language classes took place in the afternoon for a change. There was a fashion show where some of the Vietnamese students modeled traditional outfits from various ethnic groups and the bright colors were absolutely stunning!

I mentioned in an earlier blog that using chopsticks to both pick from the main dishes and eat your meal can weird some people out. In fact, this not only happens among Westerners but also some Vietnamese, so in those cases, common practice is to dedicate one end to serving and one end to eating.

In the evening, we went to the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre. This was at the top of my “Must-See” list of things that I wanted to do while in Vietnam, and it did not disappoint. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in to it, given that the only puppet shows I had seen up until this point were the ones put on by the kids I used to babysit. Tonight’s performance was a mix of action, humor, grace, and even impressive special effects like fog and sparks shooting out of the dragon’s mouth. It was the perfect night to attend because I noticed similarities between the traditional songs and dress we learned about in class today and the music and costumes of the people who narrated and played the instruments, which we also saw pictures of in class today. I definitely recommend a water puppet show to anyone who gets the chance to experience it.

P.S. I tried some Vietnamese snacks to bring along with me on the trip to the resort tomorrow, and no surprise here but they are all delicious.

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