Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Down With The 'Rhea, Oh De-Ah!

So here we are in Hanoi, final destination and final frontier. I’m down with a case of the stomach woes so I’ve taken the day off and holed myself up in the favored IHP spot, Joma Café – an expat-run coffee shop furnished with a clean bathroom within easy access.

Apart from running a riot in my belly, Vietnam has treated us well. We have class in the Ho Chi Minh museum under the tutelage of a coordinator who has her s**t totally together. I have a wonderful, loving host family that gets incredible pleasure from seeing me and Andrew feasting on the spread every night. Also, the dong goes far, allowing us to live in a lap of luxury.

After having been the road for over six months, you’d expect me to suffering from at least some homesickness. Though I haven’t suffered from any heart-stopping yearning to be back at Williams or the U.S., I have found myself giving into the homegrown pleasures like eating a smoked salmon sandwich for lunch or going to see the new Harry Potter movie at the one English-language movie theater in all of Hanoi yesterday afternoon. I love being in Hanoi and I feel like I could be on the road forever, but I think it’ll be nice to settle down again with creature comforts like my own room, a closet to hang my clothes in, regularity to where and when I’m eating …

Last weekend, a group of us went to Halong Bay, one the most incredible natural wonders I have ever seen. Over 2000 limestone kersts rise from the water to make a haunting archipelago of islands, perfect for cruising along with friends for an entire weekend. We rocked the deck of the boat with karaoke and wine, the setting incredible, the company fabulous. That was an experience that will be etched into my mind forever.

Only two and a half more weeks to go. How’s that for a scary thought?

(Images courtesy of the magnificent Andrea Roman-Alfaro!)

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