Why “We Go Peanut Sugar”

Brandon and I were trying to come up with a name for our travel blog, in which we want to document our trip to Japan and Vietnam (and many other exotic and non-exotic locales, too, we hope). We first came up with WanderlustThere and Back Again, and plenty of other well-used travel-related phrases. Brandon then suggested We Go or something similar when I suddenly had an epiphany! “What about We Go Peanut Sugar?” I shrieked. He looked at me and was like, WTH? Let me explain.

For those who don’t know me, I’m Vietnamese. (To those who do, hi!) When the first wave of Vietnamese people immigrated to America, hilarious stories of cultural and language differences ensued. Many of these are because when one doesn’t speak a new language well, one tends to translate words directly from one’s mother’s tongue. A classic example in Vietnamese-English direct translation is, We go peanut sugar, used by a lot of [northern] Vietnamese people when they needed directions. In Vietnamese, the word lạc means lost, or peanuts, and đường means road, or sugar. So put together, you have “We go peanut sugar” for “We are lost.” The phrase is a clever use of my first language, I think, and it applies well since I expect that we will “go peanut sugar” a lot in our travels.

After my explanation, Brandon said, “I love it.” Lo and behold, our blog We Go Peanut Sugar was born.

We hope you enjoy our words and pictures (Misou is a photo fiend).

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