Monday, March 10, 2008

* Typo of the morning
Not one to talk about typos, we admit, but the Irish heart of Pittstop Works took a blow at the sight of Ireland's Taoiseach Bertie Ahern being referred to as Berti Adhern in Vietnam News this morning. Bertie was hanging out with the Vietnamese PM in Dublin and showing him some 'cultural sites' which could be a kind of euphemism for going on a pub crawl down Baggot street -- Pinting like two UCD agriculture students on a Thursday night in the direction of Copperface Jacks in the days of yore.

Caption: Our Bertie having a nice of cup of tea before setting off to face another day of worrying about whether or not Ryan Giggs has another year left in him with Man Utd

Rumours are a pint of Guinness was downed, somewhere, though our Bertie is actually a Bass man. Famously he told Hot press magazine back in 1986BC he could drink a gallon of the stuff and walk in a straight line when asked about being stopped for a breathalyser test by the cops.

* Drinking in Vietnam

Finally an article tourists will find useful before coming to Vietnam in the travel section of New York Times: One on booze.

"Many people go to Vietnam for the food, for the beaches, for the history. My wife and I went there to drink," writes honest-to-goodness Neil Samson Katz.

As ruou gets a mention, one of Pittstop's HQ away from HQ Highway4 is unsurprisingly in there. There's an accompanying video in which Professor Markus Madeja of Highway4 sings the praises of local men with cash who like to drink, has a pop at French fry eating foreigners, smokes a Thuoc Lao and necks a few shots of Apricot and Ming Mang ruou.

"An apricot liqueur was pleasantly tart with a touch of sweet and a light floral scent. An herbal variety blends more than 20 roots and purports to be a recipe stolen from Emperor Minh Mang’s cellar in Hue. (Mang, a 19th-century monarch who enraged Europe by booting out Christian missionaries, mythically had a 500-woman harem and likely needed a tonic or two to sire his more than 100 children.)"

You can check out his blog (not much on Vietnam there yet) or his flickr photos from the trip.

* Golfing in Vietnam

Katz's colleague from the NY Times also went with his wife to Vietnam, though he was more interested in sinking putts than shots of liquor.

"It felt a little odd, even a touch irreverent, swinging a Callaway driver in the land of “Apocalypse Now,” Khe Sahn (typo!) and Ho Chi Minh. And yet there I stood on a carpet of manicured grass outside Hanoi, looking toward a small flag in the distance."


"Mr. Puchalski acknowledged that betting was a common problem. He said he did his best to discourage it, and that it was just one of many things he has had to impart to first-time students of the game. Other unofficial lessons have included: why you shouldn’t laugh when someone slices into the rough; the value of silence while putting; and the nature of tipping."

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