Friday, April 10, 2009


The flip-side of yesterday's Update: what I won't miss about Vietnam (volume one). It turns out not to be the temperature so much as the tilt. Yesterday I talked about how I've fallen in anticipated love with the rotating system of rainy and hot seasons. Before coming to Vietnam, I assumed rain would be my reward for toughing though a climate that never really cools. And it's true. I used to hate any day above x degrees--and almost every day here is that. I knew, going into this thing, that I'd desperately miss winters. But it turned out I missed seasons, instead. I managed to acclimate to the temperature fairly quickly and mostly forgot all about it. But the missing seasonal changes and attendant backward phenomena grated more as the months wore on. It was subtle, but it rankled anyway. Here it rains for months on end, but it does not usually rain when it should be spring back home. The month with the greatest combined humidity and heat is October, but the hottest month of the year is April. Everything begins to bloom at Christmas, continuing on through Tết in January or February. Some nasty and debilitating thing is always coming off the exotic flora here, rain or shine: several types of whirling pods--some the size and weight of golf balls--or something less evident which nevertheless makes my head and lungs close like a fist. But these things are nothing compared with the irritation I feel estranged from my own beloved spot on the tilt of the world. I cannot abide days that change by barely half a daylight hour over the course of a year, or twilights that pass in four minutes as a perpendicular sun flits around the corner of the equator. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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