We’ve all heard of the Spanish siesta. In Spain, they eat a big meal and then go home to lay down. I never suspected the same thing would happen in Asia.
Our lunch break is a full hour and half in order to give the students, and Vietnamese teachers, enough time to eat, nap, wake up, brush their teeth, and get back to their afternoon classes.
The school provides blankets and pillows for the students that are washed weekly. In addition, the cleaning ladies move the desks, sweep and mop the floors, turn on soothing music, and make sure the AC is on in every classroom to ensure a comfortable sleep. It is really quite the production.
If you’re planning to run some errands during this extended lunch break, forget it. Most businesses shut down mid-day for at least an hour in honor of nap time. You can see people snoozing all over Saigon: laying on motorbikes, in hammocks, in the baggage area under busses.
The only time Rob indulged in the mid-day sleep was when he had bronchitis. Usually, all the Western staff sit around and chat in the staff room, or finish up some work, until everyone wakes up and resumes the day.