You're so vain; I bet you think this column's about you

This piece was originally scheduled to be called "Turning Vietnamese, you know I'm turning Vietnamese I really think so" but today I am on a bit of an ego trip, so instead of telling you anything much about what happened, I will talk exclusively about how good I am until i am blue in the face then, if I ever get over myself, I might tell you about the final stage in my remarkable metamorphosis from a pseudo-British caterpillar to a beautiful Vietnamese butterfly. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Really though I don't know how I do it. How the hell do I consistently get away with this sort of behaviour day after day and how the hell have I got any friends left. Every day I run the same gags and not only does anyone not notice but I still have them rollin in the aisles. Alright that's not entirely true but they are pretty similar anyway, the similarity between them being that they are all excrutiatingly funny but that's where the similarity ends.

I am, without a doubt, consistently the funniest person in the world, inventive, witty and spontaneous and just about the nicest bloke you'll ever meet to boot. On top of that I have skin as smooth as one of those laminated identification card thingys, am stunningly good looking, have a great body and everyone loves me. Hell I can get away with virtually anything, I can say anything I like, do anything I like and slate anyone I like and my charm and that cheeky glint in my eye will always see me through. Hell, if you didn't love me that much why the hell are you even reading this self-righteous, pompous, and quite frankly sickeningly self-promoting rubbish!?!

Damn it's good being me!

Phew glad I got that out of my system. Now I can press the inferiority complex button and get back to business.

It's been a realy good day in Orange County, by Orange county standards and for that matter even by my own foreign standards. Although I actually found out the ASCII for £ (Alt+0163 in case anyone cares) this wasn't a day spent being bored in the house all day even though the evidence coupled with 2 posts today seem to suggest it was. They also suggest I am a spud and you all know that is not the case so never take evidence on face value.

For a start I remembered that the diary I am using to write down all this journeys adventures is also the diary I used for last years adventures in Nepal and India. I've been having a right chuckle and it's given me a great backup source for funnies if I run out. Just flicking through it now I have just glimpsed the word "...testicles" which I can't remember writing down and that has got to be a good yarn!

I'm currently watching a HUGE tai chi demonstration, in a football stadium in Vietnam, where a load of Artists in white have filled the pitch and are performing to oriental music. Finally they have found another use worthy of a football stadium. Putting Oasis in one is such a waste.

Was working til 3am this morning on one of my projects and got up really early, which as you know is the way I like living - sleep deprivation is the way of the future, but I've been so snowed under with work at the moment that it's just like being in London which is my idea of a holiday. I function best on about 6 hours sleep and less gets the adrenaline pumping most the time. Hyperactivity is the most wonderful medical condition and although it hasn't ever been proven I think we can safely say that I have it. Sleeping and watching TV is like throwing your whole life away!

Sorted out a travel insurance claim this morning (CHILL EVERYONE - I've still got my arms) which was actually a lot of fun it's gotta be said. I know I'm becomin a little domesticated but it really was quite a lot of fun. No really. I'm doing nothing for you with this one am I? (Move on Andy, you're gonna lose em. Ed)

We went shopping for computers this morning. I went shoppin for teles the other day (not for me obviously) in a shop called something like "Rons VERY Big TVs" which sold a range of TVs whose sizes ranged from Medium, Large, Extra Large, and My Ego to Shona. Pass me the blender Jay! VROOOOOOM!

Jay is taking a stand against the creeping corporate infrastructure that's permeating our society and taking over our lives by standing up and being counted. Like everyone else in the dole queue, Jay COULD have had a job in the same way that everyone at Warwick COULD have gone to Oxbridge. As a result Jay has taken up the mystical art of kung fu preaching, in an attempt to realign the Yin and the Yang of the universe so that some bugger gives him some money. Please take pity on him and send all donations to his house by carrier pigeon. Mastercard and Visa accepted.

In case you're wondering what exactly the art of kung fu preaching is, it's an in-joke.

When I first got to America I could barely order Pho in Vietnamese. I hung my head in shame when they told me the price in English every time I tried to speak Vietnamese. Things have changed though in the short month I've been here and I'm now speaking farely well actually. In fact I bought a computer in Vietnamese today, a 1700Mhz beastie which will probably take on the nickname Sex-in-the-Box because it's such a sexy piece of machine in it's blue metallic case. However given that it's Ongs (my Grandads) new machine and he'll be the only one using it when I'm gone, I sincerely doubt that.

One place though, that I didn't try out my Vietnamese was at the phone shop where I went to check out the deal with pay-as-you go sims this morning. As a result, the "I love your accent" counter registered yet another hit. I love the way that Americans always say it the same way..."Oh by the way, I love your accent" in a flippant, throwaway manner which is an attempt to conceal the fact that they have been dying to say it through the course of the entire conversation but have only plucked up the courage to do so as you headed out of the shop. I'm still trying to work out the ultimate comeback but have currently settled on "Yeah so do I" which is not particularly funny and not even close to the arrogance I'm trying to achieve. Any suggestions to the usual address please.

Next we went to buy some film for my new camera so I can have some fun. We went to a big Vietnamese electric shop, a bit like the Vietnamese Comet or Dixons except for the fact that it was stacked to the ceiling with Made in Chinas. The answer to the question, "What is your major malfunction?" in here would have taken a long time to list with the amount of purely faulty goods in this place. Almost makes Dixons look like a professional operation.

Since moving into Ongs mobile home in Orange County, I have been particularly fascinated by his dysfunctional clock, a tacky Made in China analogue wall clock. My grandparents, like my mother, have a thing about buying complete crap and a lot of it is actually really amusing. Mum, for example, had this (Ba's still got it actually I think) Digital bedside clock that caught her fancy by mail order. It was a talking clock and she thought, despite it's hideous styling, that it would be useful for telling the time in the middle of the night. So she sent off £20 in the post and looked forward to it arriving. Thing is that she doesn't actually speak German and there was no way to change it's language to Vietnamese, English, French or Chinese. On further reflection actually, my aunt Mi, who is german came over and can't understand it either. A true bargain.

The clock on Ongs wall, in dark mahogany wood with one of those pendulums on it sharply contrasts with the pine walls of the rest of the home. Every hour on the hour, it plays a really horrendous digital rendition of a classic tune at random from it's data banks (sounds strangely like a night at Top Banana now that I think of it) then follows with a number of chimes reflecting the hour that's just befallen us. Thing is, that the hour is always about 3 hours out, despite the clock face actually showing the right time. So for example when 3pm comes round it will play something that vaguely resembles Beethovens 9th before chiming 6 times. From this you have to do a bit of simple maths and you're there so it's not all bad.

I have wondered since getting here where the hell exactly you go to buy such a monstrous device and as we looked through the rows of cheap chinese imitation Kodak film I found out. It was 14:05 on my watch (I always keep my watch 5 minutes fast) and one of the garish tunes I have come to know and love sounded out through the store. Then the chime followed. Once, Twice, Three Times, Four Times, Five Times, Six Times, Seven Times. I burst out laughing.

Rest of the day has been spent writing and working on things. When I got here I couldn't even order Pho in Vietnamese and today I bought a computer. I've finally made it. My name is Andrew Hoang and I am Vietnamese.

I won't live like the rest. Because I am the best.

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