An Hour of Procrastination - THE PROJECT

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Procrastinator #1: Possibly complicated Vietnamese commercial interactions

Pseudonym: scratchindog
Three Preferred Dates and Times: 03/02/10 9am
Exact Location: Nguyen Che Nghia, Hanoi
The Task at Hand: Assist me buying prescription sunglasses
The Reason: I dislike delving into the realm of possibly complicated Vietnamese commercial interactions by myself.
Other Details: This project is based in Hanoi, Vietnam. However, since you happen to be here I see this as no problem.

A Monday in February, 8.35am
Hanoi, Vietnam

About to meet scratchindog (SD), Procrastinator #1. I have just had breakfast banh cuan (favourite culinary discovery of the trip- and there were many) and am now drinking sweet, extraordinary iced Vietnamese coffee. This in in the hope of reducing my own temptation of procrastination through supposed 'essential' consumption. While there has to be an element of 'whatever makes it less painful', eg. coffee, booze etc., we have a maximum of two hours to complete the task. Delayed gratification may then work as the reward. NB. 8.35am

Having said all of this, if SD is hungry/thirsty, I will of course let him eat/drink.

I missed my first session with SD as I was in bed reading the 'diarrhea flow-chart' that my travel doctor had so kindly (at the I time thought, unnecessarily) ear marked. While this is not a task that I myself am procrastinating on – and of course being sick is a legitimate excuse, one must ask ones self, when 'too sick' to do 'task', is one also too sick to do other things such as [insert long list of desirable to-dos]? It is certain that one can make ones self sick to legitimise procrastination.

It kinda goes into the same thinking as when sometimes you think you're really hungry – but you're not hungry at all, you just want to eat something a little bit delicious/disgusting – meat pie, Summer Roll, Wagon know. You then need to ask the question 'how hungry am I?' and you still can't usually tell – so you then ask yourself 'Could I eat a banana?' and the answer is usually 'no, I'm not hungry enough to eat a banana'. That doesn't by any measure mean that you shouldn't eat the Wagon Wheel, it just means you need to stop fooling yourself and eat it cause you want it – not under the false pretense of 'hunger'.

You can excuse yourself into and out of anything with the power of 'wishful' thinking when you're the boss. I don't mean that in
The Secret kind of way of envisaging a yacht and it will sail your way. I'm talking small-scale day to day stuff. By the way, when I refer to 'you', my reference point is actually me. I am a seasoned procrastinator and convincer of self.

A Monday in April, 10:56am
Melbourne, Australia

Now I've gotten to the part where I try to recall my procrastination hour with SD approximately 2 months later.

I went to SD's house to fetch him. Right on time and ready to go at 9am. I remember walking very fast, he was on a mission. I had done my research and written in my notebook the Vietnamese translation for 'sunglasses with spectacles' and 'prescription'. I also looked up the words for 'handsome' and 'ugly' to tell the optometrists that we wanted prescription sunglasses that made him look good but there was no word in the tiny dictionary for unattractive. I'm assuming that there is a Vietnamese word for it but that it not essential for a tourists limited Vietnamese vocab.

We went to one shop. Whipped out the notebook. SD tried on two pairs of sunnies. One good. One bad. The optometrist took his glasses. Copied the prescription. I took some photos. He paid his deposit. The whole thing took 15 minutes.

9.15am – a toast (or two) at the nearest bia hoi.

Many photos to come...three little housemates have not hooked up internet at home. Yet!

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