Wednesday, February 20, 2008


On Monday night, the last of our long Washington's Birthday Holiday weekend, we had a nice dinner out with friends. One of these friends is a person we knew from our time in Mexico, a woman who was working on the border in Nuevo Laredo while we were in Monterrey. She will be posted in Ho Chi Minh City in the summer, and has come for a couple of weeks for a little cultural immersion before completing her Vietnamese study, a tactic which strikes me as a good idea. We met her, along with another coworker we were introduced to for the first time, late evening at our apartment. This gave us the opportunity to show them an example of what the company housing is like around here, and they were generally enthusiastic. I was happy that there was no longer an oddly-sized refrigerator sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, and that the electrical smoke smell has almost died completely away. Welcome to Vietnam, Jennifer! We wandered down the side street to Spice, a Thai place we like a few blocks north. We spent much of our double date answering questions about Ho Chi Minh City, and the odd feelings I've been having lately started to creep up on me again. I was at home. I was the one who knew about town, now. Monday marked the fourth month of our life here in Vietnam; and, much like the times when we've picked up travelers at the airport, or the times when we’ve returned here ourselves from other countries, I felt the inexplicable erosion of my own alienism. There will never be a time where I feel homogeneous here, of course; but at the same time I feel very familiar now--comfortable, knowledgeable--about my environment. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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