A relaxing weekend

  • By Daniel
  • 2009-06-06 20:06:00-0700

Sunday morning in Binh Hoa village, the plans to go to the beach fell through two different ways due to cultural customs. That stuff sure can get in the way... That's OK though, one more relaxing day in Binh Hoa will be fine.Tien and Ngoc

Yesterday afternoon was relaxing and wonderful. Nearly heaven, nearly zen. I was laying in the hammock in the kitchen where Tien's brother and his wife share a double bed in a corner with their two daughters. No sink, no oven, no refrigerator. The same spot where each night the family members sit on the tile floor and eat their meals, happy as can be. I was watching Tien's figure through the hammock webbing as she washed dishes in a tub under the tin roof of the back patio, the same place this family washes their clothes and hangs them to dry. They same place they wash their children. I was listening to Debussy on my iPhone, Arabesque No. 1 and some other stuff from All About Lily Chou-chou, the leaves of tropical trees blowing in the blue sky outside the back door, a gecko crawling down the inside wall, a warm breeze blowing over my body. I was charmed by this place, by its people and their good lives.

I don't wish I could've photographed this because it's the kind of thing you just can't photograph. Maybe a film could've captured it...

Tien came inside and sat with me. She's very sad that I'm leaving, and she said some preemptive goodbyes, expressed some happiness and sorrow. It was a very bittersweet moment that lasted quite some time as we sat, talked, found small ways to show affection for each other, enjoying the physical company that has been missing for the last 8 years of our friendship.

She was wearing a really cute engrish shirt. Cartoonish line drawings of a face and some characters. "Beloved he has maded by yours truly love."

A Temple in Binh Hoa Later that night we went out on a scooter ride to see the sunset and to go to the bank to get money that would not be needed. Tien and I planned to take her whole family to the beach as a way for me to show my appreciation for their hospitality, but when we got back home her mother would not have it because of the cost. She felt guilty for Tien and I spending too much money on it. Tien was very sad about this, and I was disappointed but understanding. I don't know how else to show my gratitude. I've been trying to come up with something more original than simple monetary compensation, but have come up fruitless in such an alien society. Plus, what do you buy for somebody who owns 3 of about 10 local shops?