The First Night

This is where I’ll be sleeping tonight, on a one-and-a-half inch mattress pad surrounded by my kids and husband. I love it. It’s so surreal to be here in Vietnam. It had been such a mad scramble to the end, and the whirlwind of activity made the hours and hours of travel speed by in a mindless blur. In the blink of an eye we had arrived and were assaulted by strange and strangely familiar scenes, sounds, and smells. The hum of traffic and commerce, the heavy smog of pollution that sits on your skin and in your lungs like an oppressive blanket, the constant stream of horns blaring at each other as our taxi wove its way through a sea of sun-weathered faces on motorbikes. It’s like revisiting an alien planet that you had seen in your dreams. Tom and I had stayed in Saigon for a few weeks during our honeymoon over 13 years ago. So much has changed since then, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what, other than there are a lot more cars now. It’s vaguely familiar and yet enthrallingly new and exciting to be here with our kids and experience it through their eyes.

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A former corporate attorney who is now happily retired and does whatever she wants.

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