Monday, October 27, 2008

Relaxing and Taxing

Greetings from Vietnam! I am sorry I have not written in awhile, but life (as life goes) has been busy and full of up swings and down turns. This blog is beginning to sound like my diary. The beginning of many diary entries start out “Sorry I haven’t written in such a long time.” Now, I not only have diary guilt, but blog guilt! Ah, the 21st century!

Michael arrived October 1st and since then we have been organizing the apartment, moving furniture, cooking rice, reading books and taking long walks. This part of my life falls in the “up swing” category. Having Michael here makes me relax, smile and feel as if I am “home.” We write stories together, eat good food and he reads to me at night. He is a wonderful person. If you haven’t met him yet, I hope you will. We are planning on visiting my parents this summer and then road tripping it to visit his family on the east coast, so we have many adventures ahead, but I’ll tell you about our current adventures.

Beside the unity of our staff at SSIS, excellent students and engaging curriculum, we have many breaks. Breaks make travel dreams a reality. Vacation began on October 17th, so we planned to eat dinner with my friend Dyana and her boyfriend Paul on Saturday, fly to Nha Trang for three days, bus to a resort in Quy Nhon, and then fly home. Unfortunately, Michael started to feel ill on Sunday and by Sunday night he could not stop throwing up. We went to the emergency room at FV Hospital and stayed for two nights until he recovered. Side note about the FV Hospital: They took excellent care of us, I slept on a cot in Michael’s room to make sure he was safe and sound, and to top it off, they have delicious Pho. Instead of relaxing on the beach of Nha Trang, we spent our time in the FV Hospital. They thought Michael had food poisoning and so did I, but when he returned from the hospital on Tuesday, I started to feel ill. I was sick for two days, but determined to meditate, visualize and suppress the illness we named Andrew Jr. I was not going to vacation in my apartment, and I’m not sure if it was determination or stubbornness, I am both a Taurus and a Jones, but I recovered quickly enough to board the plane to Quy Nhon on Thursday.

At 7:45 am, after a gut churning plane ride, we arrived in Quy Nhon. The bus ride from Quy Nhon to the Life Resort was painted with water buffalo, ancient towers, rice fields and small town life. When the bus pulled into the driveway of the Life Resort, my mouth dropped open and my already large eyes grew even larger. The Life Resort is set on the yellow sand beach of Quy Nhon, encased by palm trees and flowers of all shapes and sizes. There is an open-air restaurant and bar, a pool looking over the ocean, and blue, yellow and orange fishing boats in the bay. We were truly in paradise.

Greeted with a warm welcome and chilled lemon-grass tea, we prepared to relax, and relax we did. Our three days at the Life Resort consisted of eating delicious food, playing scrabble, visiting the Spa for a four-hand massage, and sleeping in until 8 am. I think my favorite memory was walking on the yellow sand beach while crabs scuttled up and down the strip. I should have done a quick weather check before we left Saigon, but Andrew the First and Andrew Jr. took up most of my time. Because I did not check the weather, I did not know about the rainy season in South-Central Vietnam, and so it rained and poured. Most of our relaxing was done in doors where we were quite literally waited on hand and foot because we were two of four guests for the weekend!!! At one point I thought the hotel might be haunted because there were so few guests, and how could the most beautiful place in the world (prone to hyperbole) have only four guests?!? Needless to say, the hotel was free of ghosts, but still the most beautiful place in the world.

By the time Sunday arrived, I needed to relax from all the relaxing in Quy Nhon. Michael and I returned to the motorbike-madness of Saigon. I wish I could say that is where the adventure ended, but just as I was about to go to bed, I opened the refrigerator door and the glass water jug came flying out, shattering all over the floor. I jumped, in fear (high-pitched scream) and landed on a large chunk of glass. My blood leaked on to the floor, and I stood in the middle of the kitchen surrounded by glass. Michael quickly came to the rescue and cleaned and bandaged my foot. I told him he should have been a doctor. He said his mom told him the same thing.

With a bandaged foot, I hopped to school today. The nurse gave me a pair of crutches and cleaned my wound again. I am gaining a reputation for being the teacher prone to injury. I think it’s a little bit of bad luck paired with the fact that I am a “clumsy ballerina.” After being bandaged I can say I am quite well, but hoping for two things at the moment: a victory for Obama and good luck for at least a month.

Like every gal living in a foreign country, I appreciate your e-mails and communication. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. Thanks for reading and write as often and as much as you can.