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How Vietnam burst my bubble

September 20, 2011

Bubble wrap is one of life’s simplest joys. I’m thirty years old and still enjoy popping it. There’s something satisfying about going along each row and feeling each little bubble disappear. I love when you think it’s all popped and you find one that you missed.


I complain about Vietnam a lot. There are a lot of things I love about this place, but there are just as many things that drive me crazy. Poorly made products is at the top of the list of dislikes. They seem to be able to make everything here, but few things are made to last. Usually I just take it in stride and accept that it is part of life here. That is, until it began to encroach on my bubble wrap popping fun.


I had this piece of bubble wrap.



Isn’t lovely? This type of wrap is more about quality than quantity: bigger bubbles with a louder pop, but less of them. I decided to wait until I was in a bubble-popping mood and put the wrap away for a while. When I finally decided it was time, I was met with huge disappointment.



This is the worst bubble wrap ever. It’s not hundreds of tiny plastic bubbles – it’s a long chain of air-filled plastic that WON’T POP! If you squeeze one bubble the air just moves into the next bubble, squishing back and forth in a teasing and incredibly unsatisfying way.


What is bubble wrap’s allure anyway? Why do we so enjoy popping it? Any ideas?


In other news, I have an update on my shiny fingernails. I normally have nails that are too hard to bite through. They grow until I start damaging myself and have to cut them. A few days after the nail polishing my nails became brittle and started breaking on the corners. It turns out that the vigorous buffing removes so much of the nail that they are too weak to grow past the end of the nail bed. So, even though it seemed like a good idea, I no longer recommend it.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    September 20, 2011 04:21

    they dont pop because it’s to make ice “cubes”.If each “bubble” was just closed bubble then the water wouldn’t be able to run to the bottom and fill this up 😉

  2. September 20, 2011 06:29

    You’ll never guess what my grandfather did for a living. (So I’ll tell you.) HE MADE BUBBLE WRAP. Had a damn BUBBLE WRAP FACTORY. It was a little like growing up with Willy Wonka for a grandfather. He also made boil in the bag freezer bags, but that was less fun.

    • September 20, 2011 07:14

      Thank you for allowing me to experience ginger ale in my nose. That is so awesome 🙂 – I mean the damn BUBBLE WRAP FACTORY (not the ginger ale in the nose.)

  3. September 20, 2011 09:45

    i LOVE popping bubble wrap too! it is exciting and the only thing I can think of is how it helps relieves stress (as an adult). the pop makes me feel like i’ve exhaled, and each pop is another deep exhale 🙂

  4. September 20, 2011 11:06

    That is an absolute TRAVESTY! Recently, I’ve been getting things shipped to me surrounded by what are basically lame square balloons. They are also not fun to pop.

  5. Mary Holby permalink
    September 20, 2011 17:09

    If you let a child sit on the lame squares to pop them (like in birthday party balloons) then it’s fun to watch! I love to pop bubble wrap maybe for the same reason most of us enjoy the sound of breaking things (objects and lame social rules). Ever laugh when you hear something break in a retail store a few aisles over and you know YOU didn’t do it? Ever purposely break that too-chipped-to-use-safely old plate? Fun!

  6. Bradgelina fan permalink
    November 16, 2011 23:14

    Bradgelina et al flew Air Mekong to and fro Con Dao, but narry a beep from the wives club? WTH?


  1. And then there were three « Sweet dreams and flying machines

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