The quiz show brought to you by the teachers who are back into teaching and ‘test writing’ mode.
The object of the game is to correctly identify the liquid in these precisely labeled bottles.
The first bottle contains a commonly used household liquid, but it is labeled in Vietnamese, of course. It has no safety cap or no warning labels that it might harm you if your drink it, and its name is loosely translated as “water to clean clothes ,” the same as the product labeled Nước Tẩy Trẩng, which is “water to clean out.” It is a very effective on the mildew in the bathroom bowl. It is also known as liquid bleach.
Next, we have a bottle labeled in English. Very precise, even states the generic name. The rubber stopper was secured by a piece of plastic wrap held by a rubber band. This bottle stopper is specific for access by needle - as a nurse, I recognized it immediately! Ciprofloxin – antibiotic extrordinaire. Good for many infections – great ‘traveling’ drug - as well as being the drug of choice in the event of an anthrax outbreak. The label indicates “for intravenous administration only.” Never know when you’ll need that, eh?
But I got it at the Ðông Ba Market in Hué for 10,000 VND, (63 cents US) because the liquid inside is actually fingernail polish remover! Just what I was looking for, but I initially refused it when offered in this package. Then I remembered where I was, and asked to smell it – Whew! It really was what I wanted after all.
Julie once bought vinegar so we could make BBQ sauce – and it was in a sold to her in a La Vie bottle. La Vie is mineral water bottled by Nestlé. I guess if you drank it without getting a whiff, it wouldn’t be too disastrous.
So, when shopping in Viet Nam, be careful of what you buy – it may not be what you think. Or, it may be what you want, but have confusing packaging..
xoxo - cmy