Saturday, August 16, 2008


I'm still talking about our plants. We hadn't already gotten any houseplants because shopping's difficult, here. The plant stores are out there, sure, many near the bridge to District Two. But the rigmarole of finding them, judging the health and value of their products and negotiating a price--then securing a cyclo driver to peddle the heavy things back to our apartment--was daunting enough to postpone. Recently several of our friends moved out of town in the first really big personnel rotation since we arrived in Vietnam. One of our departing friends had a house full of really large plants. She'd already promised a couple of them to someone else, but I got the balance. As a matter of fact, on the day movers packed up all her stuff, I got them all. Since she lived on the very next floor down, it was easy to have the movers just haul her plants upstairs to our apartment. This was two days before we left town on a four-day trip to Dalat. I discovered two hundred pounds of potted plants in the hallway first thing after waking up that day: five-foot corn plants, green tropical things with large variegated leaves, maybe a miniature rubber tree? I hauled them all into the apartment first thing. Some of them were too heavy to lift, so I slid them along the floor watching the carpet ripple under the weight. Our living room has jungled overnight. It looks like Where the Wild Things Are: here's the couch and bookshelves, there's the carpet and the Amazon. It sure didn't take much to provide dense foliage in this apartment. My job is to keep the rainforest alive and well until maybe September 2009, when our own movers will drop them off on another floor. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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