Today was ladies lunch day and we joined the girls as usual. Again there was plenty of animated conversation around the table. Today we were joined by Caroline from Belgium who is here with her husband for four days while they decide whether they want to take up a posting here with his company. The husbands of several of the group work for the same company, so they had been showing her around, keen to give her a good impression of Hai Phong (a bit like giving someone a good impression of Botany Bay)...
Anyhow, some of them took her golfing this morning. which she apparently enjoyed. When Alwyn (the British matriach of the group) heard the word golf, her ears pricked up and she asked Caroline if she was a golfer, to which Caroline replied that she had been learning and really enjoyed it, and was keen to take it up when she returned to Hai Phong later in the year. Alwyn was delighted to hear it, because her golfing partner has left, and she has had to resort to playing with the girls who are obviously novices and dont take it as seriously as she does. She then asked Caroline what is her handicap, and Caroline said blithely "Oh I bought a handicap card in Thailand, so I'm on 36." Alwyn nearly choked! you can't simply buy a handicap card, it has to be earned.... there are rules and course etiquette that must be adhered to or all the serious golfers can be grossly inconvenienced by the rookie's ignorance!
Alwyn has worked hard for years to get to her handicap of 15 and she was quite appalled that anyone could think they could buy their way into the ranks of serious golfers. Obviously there is no guarantee that Caroline even knows the fundamentals of the sport, let alone stepping up to the mark as Alwyn's partner! ... There was considerable discussion as some of the other ladies tried to explain the expediency of having to buy your card just so you could get onto a golf course in Thailand so you could practice and get your game up to scratch. But I don't think Alwyn was convinced. It probably helps if you're a golfer to really appreciate the gravity of the situation.
On a lighter note, Tina had laser surgery on her eyes last week in Hanoi and is thrilled with the results. It only took 4 minutes per eye and cost under $800. She has a few checkups over the coming weeks/months and it's all good. She was very short sighted before and now has 20:20 vision.
Sarah was feeling quite unwell because of her sunburn tonight, so I taught one of her classes as well as my own. It was a big class (17) adults using the same book as one of my regular classes so it wasn't too much trouble. But now I'm tired... too much excitement for one day.