The measure of a man

By Ron Oakham
This item appears on page 22 of the August 2021 issue.
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This month’s winner is RON OAKHAM of Phoenix, Arizona:

My long-time friend and travel companion, Mike, and I had arranged, via ToursByLocals.com, to take a privately guided tour in the ancient port city of Hoi An, Vietnam, during a port call at Da Nang on our January 2019 Southeast Asia cruise.

One stop on our tour was at a silk factory to view the whole process of making silk, from nurturing silkworms to very artistic finished products. Of course, the tour ended in the sales department.

One of the salesladies, seeing Mike looking at their selection of shirts, asked if he would like to buy a silk shirt. Mike, who is a very big man (and claims he is “in shape,” since round is a shape), responded that they probably didn’t have a shirt that would fit him. The saleslady assured him that they did, and another saleslady brought out an extra-extra-large shirt. Indeed, it didn’t fit.

Quickly, the saleslady said, “This is not a problem. We do make Buddha size also.”

Everyone laughed, and Mike, intrigued by imagining himself as a Buddha, told them to begin measuring. Before leaving Hoi An, Mike had his custom-made silk shirt in hand for just $70.


Tell us about something humorous that happened to you while traveling outside the United States. There are no restrictions on length. ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Include your full mailing address. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

This month’s winner is RON OAKHAM of Phoenix, Arizona:

My long-time friend and travel companion, Mike, and I had arranged, via ToursByLocals.com, to take a privately guided tour in the ancient port city of Hoi An, Vietnam, during a port call at Da Nang on our January 2019 Southeast Asia cruise.

One stop on our tour was at a silk factory to view the whole process of making silk, from nurturing silkworms to very artistic finished products. Of course, the tour ended in the sales department.

One of the salesladies, seeing Mike looking at their selection of shirts, asked if he would like to buy a silk shirt. Mike, who is a very big man (and claims he is “in shape,” since round is a shape), responded that they probably didn’t have a shirt that would fit him. The saleslady assured him that they did, and another saleslady brought out an extra-extra-large shirt. Indeed, it didn’t fit.

Quickly, the saleslady said, “This is not a problem. We do make Buddha size also.”

Everyone laughed, and Mike, intrigued by imagining himself as a Buddha, told them to begin measuring. Before leaving Hoi An, Mike had his custom-made silk shirt in hand for just $70.


Tell us about something humorous that happened to you while traveling outside the United States. There are no restrictions on length. ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Include your full mailing address. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.