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Today, received two books from Amazon. The first, a biography of Ho Chi Minh. No point in going to a place like Vietnam if you don't want to dig, and dig deep, into the recent history.

The second is Teach Yourself Vietnamese, a book and two audio CDs. Well guess what. I ain't gonna teach myself Vietnamese--won't happen. But I will learn enough to show respect. A little good faith goes a long way, and a few phrases makes a foreign place less intimidating.

Despite the European alphabet, this is a very different language. Lots of subtle tones, very different sounds.

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