I hit a low point earlier in the week when in the midst of already feeling hideously uncomfortable, my period started and diarrhea inexplicably attacked in full force. The limits of my endurance were being tested because at exactly this time there was a water outage in my aunt’s apartment building, which meant no functioning toilets or showers for an indeterminate amount of time (which turned out to be several hours). I wanted to kill myself. I have since recovered some perspective. It is definitely not as comfortable and convenient here as it is at home. Would I just want to hang out at home? What was the point of this sabbatical if not to spend unlimited quantities of time with my kids? I have to learn how to enjoy not billing my time, as crazy as that sounds. There are benefits to being a foodie in Vietnam. The flavors here are more intense and everything is a more delicate, delicious version than its American counterpart. Plus health care is hella cheap and more convenient than in the U.S. We simply showed up at the doctor’s home between visiting hours of 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm (and had to take off our shoes at the door), the doctor took a look at my kids as we described their symptoms, he wrote a few prescriptions that his wife filled out a few meters from him, we paid about US$40 for the visit and medications, and were on our way. Yesterday was the first day that my son didn’t break out in hives, and I’m duly impressed. I had heard horror stories about quack doctors in Vietnam but living outside of the U.S. for a little over a week has already showed me how flawed the American health care system is.
Life is about learning to adapt and adjusting expectations. There are pros and cons to every decision, and I just need to learn how to live with mine.