The Chid Situation - Unchained Melody - CycleBlaze

November 23, 2023

The Chid Situation

The Chid Situation

We are in one of the A25 Hotels here in Saigon for four nights before we start riding.  There are a lot of A25 Hotels in Vietnam, in fact there is another one across the street from ours and two doors down is another.  They are always a good bet; not super cheap but not out of our range either.  This one is a bargain considering it includes the great buffet breakfast I described.  The staff does not speak much English and we get the feeling, as we often do in SE Asia, that they would like us to just do our thing.  That's why there was no attempt to dissuade us from bringing two large cardboard boxes and two large duffel bags up to our room.  I knew they were curious so I told them, "Bicycle," which they understood and didn't fuss about.  

Fortunately our room is quite spacious, great for assembling our bikes.  And there is always so much to get organized at the beginning of our trips. Everything we brought is spilled out everywhere in the room and eventually makes its way into, what seems to be at the time, the logical, appropriate pannier.  But each item's location is quickly forgotten.  The first week or two there is much frustration finding stuff in our panniers.  "I was sure I put such and such in this front right pannier and now it's not there!"   This sort of frustration goes on far too long it always seems. 

The owners of this hotel have put more small stuff into this room than any I have ever seen.  The question is whether some of the things are free or not free.  I have the feeling a lot of this stuff is there to confuse us (me).  I feel pretty sure the two tea packets, sugar, comb, toothbrushes, hair tie in its own little package labeled "Hair Tie," chopsticks, shower cap, straws, flossing contraptions, razors, little packet of cotton swabs!, stationery and 2 bottles of water are all free each day.  The scissors and nail clippers are probably not.  

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Ron SuchanekThose really come in handy for me!
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2 months ago
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Then there is the tube of toothpaste.  It's a fairly large tube. I mean, who shares toothpaste with the previous guests?!  Is it new?  No idea.  Do I use it or take it?  Most people would not get involved with toothpaste but I'm not that person.  I want to get to the bottom of this toothpaste dilemma. Will I be charged if I take it?  I have no idea.  

Now I know you are dying to know what the Chid situation is in our room.  First, however, you might be asking: 'What is Chid and where can I find it once I know what it is?'  Chid is the term Jeff and Kristen Arnim coined for any and all 'Junk Food' while on one of their bike adventures a few years ago.  I don't know what led to this brilliant vision - the need for a new term for junk food.  Chid has stuck with Andrea and myself.  In fact, we think it's the perfect term for junk food; straight and to the point in one syllable. 

There is often chid in a hotel room but in our current room there is an overflowing basket of chid, none of which would I be tempted to eat.  Well maybe the wasabi flavored Lay's potato chips - don't get me thinking about them.  Our chid basket also contains two packets of coffee mix which, like the toothpaste, confuses me.  Coffee mix packets are always free in every hotel room we've ever stayed in in SE Asia.  But since these packets are in the chid basket we would certainly be charged for them if we were to take them. To put coffee mix packets in with the chid is so very sneaky that I'd say it's illegal.  The little refrigerator, below the counter holding the chid basket, is full of soft drinks, "Refreshing Tea", beer and Red Bull all lying in cold wait for when we come in overheated and not in our right minds.  This is what they wait for.....weakness.  They prey on the time when we fail to be disciplined enough to just say no to chid.

Chid
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So, say you do have a moment of weakness and rip open a bag of Dorkbua Brand shoestring potatoes (but actually they say they are "biscuit stick bacon flavor") you will be charged an exorbitant amount of Vietnamese Dong when you check out.  As you are checking out at the front desk one of the staff will be ordered to run up to the room and perform a chid inventory.  You drum the desk with your fingers as you wait and the receptionist tries to make believe she is busy with something else.  You will then be charged millions of Dong for say the Dorkbua biscuit sticks, something you could have bought at a store for pennies on the Dong.  You see, the owners prey on your lapse of discipline.  They know most people eventually can't resist chid.  Sitting upright on the bed, flipping through hundreds of channels on the TV and failing to find anything you want to watch, you get bored and that basket of chid just to the right of the TV looks more and more inviting, the chid packages so colorful, keep catching your eye.  And then there is that moment of weakness when you lunge off the bed, grab the chid and rip into it not caring anymore.  Failure. 

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rich rosenbergBruce - Andrea
Just read the first nine entries..... it is so good once again to be living your traveled life vicariously thru these daily adventures. Your sense of humor(s) have me intrigued. Please travel safe, and keep up the banter.
Regards,
Richie
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2 months ago
Bruce LellmanHi Richie,
Thank you for binge-reading and being such a dedicated fan. I hope we can continue to please. Today we escaped Saigon through the insane traffic (mostly motorbikes). We are headed to the Mekong River Delta where it's more quiet. Stay tuned.
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2 months ago

But they do not know who they are dealing with here.  My parents raised me with large spoonfuls of The Great Depression every morning.  Being thrifty is in my blood.  I have always had more willpower than money and in terms of eating chid, this ability to always reject it has served me well healthwise.  I laugh at this little game hotel owners try to play with me using chid as their lure.  I'm not going to bite.  But I do want that toothpaste.  It's Colgate, same as what I normally use.  And those Lay's potato chips are staring at me right now.  Damn that chid.  I must not break down.  I will not eat them, I will not eat them, I will not........

lovebruce

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Scott AndersonThanks for the reminder! I’m pretty chid-resistant too, but what can you do when they serve up pretzels with your beer, as they did in a small mountain inn in Switzerland 30 years ago? From our journal: “At our hotel, I went downstairs to the bar to catch up on my journal over a beer, and was pleased to have a small bag of pretzels accompanying them. When I was done I went back upstairs to the room. A few minutes later there was a knock on the door, from the bartender - he was requesting payment for the pretzels.”
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2 months ago
Jen RahnJust a spoonful of Great Depression keeps the chid discipline in place!

... Or *does* it?

Which Chid Temptations will simply be too irresistible?
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2 months ago
Rich FrasierWhatever you do, don’t think about those potato chips…. 😊
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2 months ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonThat's hilarious. Thank you for sharing that one.
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonI love your description of chid! We see the same thing in our travels and the chid is a lot more expensive and it’s why I always have my own snacks and only get something in dire circumstances. I grew up in poverty so I hate wasting money!
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2 months ago
Brent HirakFuck it man My life is an unfolding trainwreck succession of chid. Gimme
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2 months ago
Bruce LellmanTo Brent HirakIt's easy to get on that Chid Train for sure. Sometimes it's an express train.
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2 months ago