Saturday, February 09, 2008

We are here!

After 30+ hours of travel time, I am sitting in the lobby of our hotel in Saigon. It is about 7am local time. The flights were uneventful, which is to say a smashing success. I will never forget what it is like to fly over Hudson's Bay and into the endless night of the North Pole.

We are tired, but very energetic. Haven't had breakfast yet, but were awoken to the sound of roosters crowing in the middle of downtown.

Had a little taste of bureaucracy last night when we were told to fill out the same form three times because we hadn't done it EXACTLY the way the 22 year old Immigration Agent wanted. And already some questions about how the venerable grandparents reacted to the amerasian grandkids. The kid/agent inquiring first made sure I couldn't speak Vietnamese before delicately asking the question.

The weather is mild. I'd say about 80 degrees this morning. The Hotel (extravagant at $50 per night for the 4 of us. $35 for my parents) has the best shower I have ever had and a view of an alley.)

It is incredible that yesterday-ish, I was having a cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee in an airport in Warwick and today-ish, I am in Ho Chi Minh City, listening to Vietnamese radio and the sound of scooters beeping endlessly.

Love, Love, Love,


Ming said...

Deliriously Wonderful!!
The other side of the planet and culturally, even further away than that.

Saigon!Saigon! how I envy all of you.


Rachel said...

I think you'd especially envy the food!

For breakfast a big bowl of pho. We even had the courage to add fresh basil to it, despite the travel clinic's warnings against fresh veggies.

Lunch was a shredded chicken sandwich on fresh baked french bread, with pickled vegetables and some cilantro.

Crossing the street is terrifying. But oh, the sounds. The smells, too. I found a plumaria blossom lying on the street and it was the first time since living in Hawaii that I'd seen one.

No geccos yet. We drive to Nha Trang tomorrow and get to see the father in law.

By the way, the daily office was a great idea. I read it aloud, with the children, in Chicago and on the flight.

Let my mouth proclaim thy praise.

And to my friend Amy: Picking us up yesterday was an incredible gift. Thank you.

Amy said...

My dear friend Rachel,
I am so glad you have arrived safely and sanely! Speaking of insane, do I have the only copies of your keys?!

I am praying for you as the sun rises and sets, with the amazing idea that it is the opposite for all of you. Enjoy these precious days!


Mary Beth said...

It makes me cry with joy to read this. I will be reading along!!!!