(Or How To Turn Your Facebook Status Updates Into A Blog Post)
Things I love about my office #1: We have an office turtle.
Things I love about my office #2: The open can of condensed milk in the fridge. Much better than a vending machine.
Things l love about my office #3: My colleagues have titles like Javan Rhino Specialist and Coral Triangle Bycatch Strategy Leader.
Things I love about my office #4: A traveling salesman today sold everyone in the office special furry ear-muffs to attach to their motorbike helmets. I bought fake leopard-print ones for my bicycle helmet. Rawr.
Things I love about my office #5: The Finance team play music that I can hear whenever they open their door. Favourites include “Listen To Your Heart” by Roxette, “Winds of Change” by the Scorpions and “To Be With You” by Mr Big. Their repertoire does not seem to extend past 1992.
Things I love about my office #6: My colleagues instruct me, in all seriousness, that the best way to keep my shoes dry in the pouring rain is to tie plastic bags around my feet.
Things I love about my office #7: Summer has come early to Hanoi, so my boss bought us all young rice ice-creams on sticks to eat at our desks.
Things I love about my office #8: This conversation.
Me: Why are you taking binoculars to lunch, Nicholas?
My colleague Nicholas: I want to look at a plumbeous water redstart I think I saw in the park.
Things I love about my office #9: Explaining the story of Easter to my Vietnamese colleague. When I finished dramatically with Jesus rising from the dead on Sunday, he asked "And then what?" Indeed.
Things I love about my office #10: A sunny day spurs the entire office to run outside and buy cups of silken tofu curd from a passing street vendor, who scoops it out of a bucket using a big, flat mother-of-pearl shell, and tops it with jasmine syrup. Cost of delicious curdy goodness = 30 cents.
Things I like about my office #11: This conversation, which occurred while correcting a Vietnamese to English translation my colleague had completed.
Me: What do you mean when you refer to a “night cat”?
Colleague: You know, it’s like a cat, but at night.
Me: Hmm, like a… puma?
Colleague: Maybe! It’s like a cat that comes out at night.
Me: Show me a picture of this so-called night cat on Google Images.
[Colleague then shows me.]
Me: That is an owl.
Things I Like About My Office #12: My desk. One of these things is not like the others...
Things I love about my office #13: We have (inexplicably) acquired an espresso machine. My colleague asked where you put the condensed milk.
Things I like about my office #14: Discovering that the Vietnamese word for “seahorse” and the Vietnamese word for “walrus” is the same word. No good can come of this.
Things I love about my office #15: I brought back Haigh’s chocolate bilbies from Australia as gifts for my former colleagues.
Colleague: They are chocolate rats.
Me: No, they are not chocolate rats! They’re like very special, small, furry… marsupials.
Colleague [looking at the big bag of chocolate rats in my hand]: I see. So, do you have any other animals in there?