Cloud 9; Taxi girls; Mixed salad religion

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Jan 2 11:15:37 UTC 2000

   Greetings from Ho Chi Minh City, not Saigon or Istanbul or Constantinople.


   There is a Snickers-like candy available in Malaysia, the Philippines, and here in Vietnam called "Cloud 9."  When did they first start making the stuff?  I know that our first "cloud nine" hits in the RHHDAS are not very old.  My tour guide--Claude--said he's always called Claude-9 in the Philippines.


   I knew that prostitution was bad in Ho Chi Minh City, but when I first arrived here, there were thousands of people lining the streets!  My hotel had to set up barbed wire!  Does that go on every night?
   I'm told that the name for them here is "taxi girls"--probably because they have a Checkered past.


  Cao Dai ("Cow die!") is called a "mixed salad religion" because it contains Confucianism, Buddhism, and Christianity.  There are about three million followers in South Vietnam.
  I asked my tour guide if the followers get down in the lettuce position and worship Caesar.


BLOOD AND FLOWERS--Vietnam is called the "land of blood and flowers."  I don't know when this was first used.
VIET KIEU--overseas Vietnamese are "Viet Kieu."  It was recently announced that they can now buy land in Vietnam.
TRONG SAM--"trong sam" means "thunder-maker."  It's the name of the big drum that announced the new year (even though it's the Christian new year).  I don't know if it's in the OED.
QUAN HO--the name of a love duet.
CHEO-- the name for traditional operetta.
MEKONG QUEEN COCKTAIL--I spent a night in the Mekong Delta.  The Mekong Queen bar serves this drink, which is rum, curacoa, and coconut milk.
FAMILY PLANTING--My tour guide, in talking about some Asian populations, said that it wasn't "family planning," it was "family planting."  I haven't checked this on Nexis.  He says he didn't invent the phrase.

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