Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The tyranny of Babelfish

Before I start, let me apologise if I sound too much like a Mormon Housewife.  I read this article on and have wasted several hours reading Mormon Housewife blogs since.  I promise I haven't started putting on makeup and changing my clothes so that my husband can be greeted with my delightful visage when he gets home from a hard day at work.  Nor have I purchased a hot glue gun.


So, a condition of the rental agreement when we moved into this furnished apartment, was that they change some of the furniture in the second bedroom.

Specifically, that the great big heavy king size bed be shifted out of the room and replaced with a sofa bed. This is only a two-bedroom apartment, which suits us just perfectly - we don't want anything bigger. Actually, it's not that easy to get a decent two-bedroom apartment in this town.  Most people seem to want more room, or to want to live in houses in the ex-pat compounds. We have modest ambitions and not a huge amount of stuff, so a two-bedroom apartment suits us perfectly well - so long as the second bedroom can be used as a study room.

I think our Vietnamese landlady thinks we are mad.

Anyway, they brought us a catalogue, and we chose a sofa-bed design.  And they brought swatches of fabric and we chose a silver fabric.  The options were not many.  Most of the fabric swatches were heavily patterned or bright colours.  There is patterned silver and black wallpaper on one wall, and gold curtains, so I didn't want to add another colour - or another pattern, and there were no black fabric swatches. So we chose silver.

The resulting sofa looks nothing like the picture in the catalogue, of course.   Having said that, it is perfectly fine for what we need and we have now been liberated of the second big bed. I have draped the sofa with the pashmina my Nana gave me, which is black with gold threads, and it looks pretty good, though I'm a hopeless photographer and can't get good pictures.


It's actually really nice in here at night time, because the lighting is really well designed, and the wallpaper and lampshades kind of shimmer.  Bless the Vietnamese love of glitter!

Can you see the glitter?

After the workmen had been and gone, the receptionist girl gave me a note she had prepared earlier.  It is the second time she has shown me a note, but the first time I didn't get to keep it - she took it with her.  The first note was after the bath was fixed.  It said:  All done.  Tell her she can use it in an hour.

This is the sofa-bed note:

Everybody loves getting letters!

It says:

How to use the sofa:
The first three legs spread and break the back
seats back seats pull down the three stars which
will become a bed to sleep if she wanted to
re-sit examination of three drag position. 
Three can do try.  Thanks her. 

Have a nice day. 

It was pretty funny, but I promise I didn't laugh until after she had left.  I smiled and said "Oh!  Wonderful!  Thank you!"

So, anybody got any ideas about how to use the sofa?


  1. Don't break your back trying! Sounds like there might be an exam if you do.

    Nice pashmina BTW.

  2. Nice Pashmina, love the glitter look and enjoying the stories. You will no doubt gather more funny notes/letters, all part of expat life!

  3. Sorry to read about your challenge with the sofa bed!Win/Mum