Goooood Morniiiiing After Pill… In Vietnam

Consider for a brief moment that the odd man with a cigarette in the picture above nearly became a father. It’s a frightening thought. It’s even more frightening that I am that man.

This story began when I met a girl from Spain about halfway through Vietnam. I won’t use her name and will just refer to her as “Spain” from here on out. We kept bumping into each other in various cities along the way and we hit it off. She spoke decent English but it wasn’t the best, so we also employed various hand signals and my high school level Spanish. It was adorable.

After a few cities of this cutesy flirting, Spain and I started hooking up. We went back to the dorms but there were a lot of people there. Being the consummate gentleman, I bought us a private room at another hotel. Don’t worry, I’ll stop the description here. This is the part in movies where it pans to the curtains, or like in the Lion King when it looks up to the clouds in the sky. I’ll just leave it to your imagination (it was beautiful).

Fast forward to the end.

Me “Oh shit. The condom broke”

Mi amor “Es what?”

Me with hand signals “The condom broke. Are you on the pill?”

Future mother of my child “No”

Shit. This happened at about 5 A.M., so I had about three hours until anything opened and my hunt for the morning after pill could begin. Three hours to re-evaluate my life and imagine my future with a Spanish love child. I began thinking about what sort of father/husband I’d be and it went something like this:

She has one year of school left until she finishes her degree but has to drop out due to the pregnancy. She resents me for ruining her career, but we get married anyway because her dad is some terrifying Spanish man who would murder me if I didn’t. I head back to California where I can earn better money, and she remains in Spain to raise our son, Ricardo Holke, on her own. I send money when I can, but due to work obligations, I am not able to get time off to come visit. Years pass and Ricardo grows, hating his absentee father. I eventually turn up when he’s five in an attempt to make a reconciliation. He tells me to get out and that he has no father. Meanwhile, Spain girl has been having an affair with a famous bullfighter and our marriage deteriorates, with her getting half of everything…it’s a rough three hours.

I woke up from this terrifying reverie at 8 A.M and sprinted out the door to find the morning after pill. In my haste, I forgot my sandals so I had to run up and down a horrific Vietnamese road barefoot. I limped past a group of Vietnamese guys on dirt bikes who all hounded me yelling, “You want moto?”. No dammit. I want to not be a dad. Fortunately, there was a pharmacy about 500 yards down the road.

I rushed into the store. There were two Vietnamese women in there. I asked them, “Do you have Plan-B?”. They responded with blank stares and obviously didn’t speak English. Fantastic – time to put my charades skills to work. I used my hands to make a half circle gesture on my stomach to make it look like I was pregnant and then make a big “X” with my arms, simultaneously saying, “Baby, no. Baby, noo”.

I wish I had a picture of the “what the fuck is this crazy American doing” looks that I received. They clearly didn’t understand what I was getting at, so I changed up my miming. Instead of trying to mime that I was pregnant, I tried cradling a pretend baby and then saying, “Baby, no want. Baby, me no want”.

A flash of recognition went through one of the lady’s faces. She handed me a box that wasn’t Plan-B, but I assumed was the Vietnamese equivalent. Unfortunately, all of the directions were in Vietnamese, and I didn’t want to kill Spain with some random Vietnamese pill that ended up being rat poison or something. I Ran to an internet cafe that was about 300 yards the other direction. Again, chants of, “You want moto? Moto? Moto?” followed me through the street. It was kind of like that bit in Finding Nemo with the seagulls going, “Mine? Mine?” except that it was Vietnamese men chasing a terrified barefoot white guy down the street.

I went online and used Google translator to interpret the instructions. It wasn’t a perfect translation, but it did seem like the pill that I needed. However, I still wasn’t entirely convinced, and I wasn’t trying to give Spain some mystery drug.

It was at this moment that I remembered the 40-year-old Australian guy who owned one of the hostels. He spoke perfect English and also knew Vietnamese, so I assumed he could help me out. I immediately sprinted to his hostel. “Moto? Moto? Moto?”.

I arrived panting but he wasn’t there. Shit. I ran back to the hotel to discuss the situation with Spain. I walked through the lobby and saw the Australian guy at the front desk! Apparently he owned both places. Thank god.

I went up to him and said, “Holy crap, am I glad to see you. This is going to be a bit of an odd question, but do you know where I can buy the morning after pill?”

Without missing a beat, the guy responded in an Aussie accent, “Why, did someone fuck you in the ass last night?”

Well played, Australian guy. That will forever go down as one of the worst burns I’ve ever received. He smiled because he thought that I was joking, but once the look of despair in my eyes registered he said, “Oh you’re serious? Not ready to be a baby daddy then, eh mate? Yeah I can sort you out. Just give me a few minutes.”

I knew there was a reason that I loved Australians. I came back a few minutes later and he handed me a piece of paper with Vietnamese writing. He told me to take that to the pharmacy and they’d give me what I needed. I thanked him and turned to leave. As I was walking out, he shouted, “Hey, pull out next time!” and then laughed hysterically to himself. Thanks for the advice, mate.

I started my jog to the pharmacy. My feet were killing me and again the swarm came. “Moto? Moto? Moto?”

I escaped the moto hoard and went into the pharmacy. The lady behind the counter looked at the paper, nodded, and pointed to the pill that I purchased initially. Turned out that I had the right one, but it was nice to confirm. I ran back to Spain to tell her that we were golden.

A few weeks later, I receive one of the greatest messages of all time from her letting me know that I was not the father of a Spanish love child. Score: Nick – 1 Unwanted pregnancies – 0

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About the author

Hi my name is Nick Holke

I'm 24 years old and I'm from California. Currently, I'm teaching English in Madrid.

If you wanna know a bit more about me and the website, click here.

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