Ah, the loving sun. The continuously pounding deadly ultra violet rays of the Vietnam heat is one thing you’ll definitely notice instantaneously upon leaving the airport. Every time I step off the plane into that 20 feet high corridors that lead into the main airport building, I get punched right in the face with a very thick, distinct, dirty heat. You can almost taste it in your throat if you concentrate hard enough. It’s funny though, because even in this weather the Vietnamese girls load themselves with heavy long-sleeves jackets and hoodies to protect them from the sun’s rays. I guess sunblock here would probably be closer to cooking oil than protectant- since what would happen is you’d be broiling alive in it. As much as I loathe the heat, though, I’m no different from those girls outside in broad daylight carrying an umbrella. My skin isn’t sensitive to sunlight, but hell, it’d tan faster than you can even say skin cancer. I remember last year when I returned back to the states I had this gnarly farmer’s tan and it took at least a good 9 months to recuperate to my now pale complexion. I don’t really know why, but here in Vietnam the whiter you are, the better. It’s almost viewed as a taboo subject if you were to say you’d go to the beach to get a nice little jersey shore fake-n-bake tan. That reminds me of the time at Nha Trang beach when I saw an old flabby American lady laying flat out in the sand, spreading all 4 limbs like an overcooked starfish. But that’s a whole different story for another time. I digress. Keeping a white complexion is such high maintenance work. Over in Vietnam I get called “Ma Ca Rong” by my cousins. Which translates to Vampire, and I guess it fits me. I’m always out at night, I avoid the sunlight as much as possible, and I crave blood. No, just kidding. Oh, but minus the sparkle sparkle too, this ain’t no twilight shit. There is one good thing about the heat however, when it rains, even the droplet is lukewarm. Perfect for an outside shower on a hot day. I don’t know how safe the rain is due to the pollution from the city though, best bet is to retake another one inside just to be on the safe side.