Wednesday morning I slept through my alarm and the noise of the other people in the house and didn't get up until after 9, which never happens. Shortly after I got up the power went out, which is now pretty normal. Tien and I decided to head into Long Xuyen to get breakfast and return my suit.
Breakfast was notable because it was a pretty miserable experience. Tien took me to a new place to try a new food. Before we even got our food I was having respiratory problems from the fumes of passing scooters. When breakfast came it wasn't very appetizing to loom at, and the flavor wasn't exactly desirable to my taste buds. The thing that finally made me a little nauseous though was one of the most disgusting dogs I've ever seen that came wandering by. Black nipples dangled inches below the low hanging skin of the bitches belly and sores adorned her backside as she miserably waddled past looking for food. Tien asked me "is it terrible?" "yeah..." she just laughed, apologized and said that it was her favorite thing to eat for breakfast.
Things got better at our usual coffee shop near the lake where we got lost in the Internet looking at Stereoscopic images online. I found the Loreo 3d lens in a cap and decided I wanted to buy one if I ever found one. We headed out to look for a camera shop and helmet shops, but didn't really find anything good. We headed home and on the way I wished I had a smaller camera to use for times like when I'm on the back of the scooter, or when the d300 was too large to bring along, or when I want to take video. I decided I really need a second camera.
Thursday was yet another rainy day. Tien and I spent a usual amount of time trying to figure out our future, this time discussing the option of me going back to America at the end of July and having her come later once the visa is approved. This option sucks, but may be the right way to do it... I wasn't happy with that thought because I never wanted another long distance relationship, and I definitely didn't want to be a married couple who live in separate countries. The frustration with this combined with the rain made me very tired and I slept for most of the day.
That evening after it got dark the rain finally let up so Tien, her sisters and I went into town just to get out for a while. We went to the supermarket and I finally found the Da Lat wine I've been looking for, so I bought a bottle. It was a little tart, but I enjoyed it. What can I say? I love wine.
Friday was another interesting breakfast. Tien and her mom try to make me new things to eat, but sometimes they attempt to recreate the type of meal I'd have in America. This morning was eggs, bread, butter, coffee, uncooked hot dogs and pig liver pate with soy sauce. I really do appreciate their effort to show me new things, but I had to tell Tien that coffee and bread with eggs and soy sauce was good enough. Uncooked hot dogs and pig liver pate have no place in an american breakfast.
Unexpectedly, Tien's uncle from Saigon showed up in his Toyota tercel. He was on his way through to drop somebody off and was headed back to Saigon that day. Tien and I had been planning to go there for a day and then fly to Malaysia, and this was the perfect chance to go, plus we wouldn't have to ride in a bus. I was certainly ready to get back on the road since I was setting a new record for consecutive days spent in Binh Hoa, so we packed up and waited for him to come back.
So we waited... And waited. We had thought he would be back in an hour, but he wasn't. I played iPhone video games to kill time. Then I let Ngoc play some. I taught her how to play field runners while we ate lunch and she did better than I expected on her second try.
Tien's cousins house was on the way so we stopped by for a while. It was a nice house across a wooden footbridge from one lane sub street off the main street. Some men were in the water building the foundation for a wider cement bridge that would be safer for the villagers.
We went inside and sat a while, eating corn on the cob and rambutan. I went into a back room and laid down in a hammock and enjoyed how quiet it was in this place. Quiet was something I had been longing fir since it seems like there is noise everywhere in Binh Hoa even though it's in the country.
It began to rain. The rain was loud in the tin roof of the wooden extension o the house. I really liked that place... The wood was dark and welcoming and the vaulted ceilings made the space feel larger than most Vietnamese buildings which have flat ceilings.
The rain got heavier, then the power went out, then we left.
There were a lot of people out on scooters despite the rain. They all wear and share rain ponchos. I saw a man with an ATI Radeon poncho. This was not because he worked for ATI or owned a Radeon card or probably even a personal computer. He probably got it from someone at the factory where it was made. Just like everything else brand name, it's not for fashion or endorsement, it's what's available.
The skies outside were smooth grey and for some reason it reminded me of Littleton. The journey was now a familiar one and I usually knew what to expect to see ahead.
Tien and I shared my iPod because I finally got a headphone Y splitter that worked correctly. It was nice and I even was able to hear new things, like how Kaskade's song Mccamon uses the sampled record noise to make a beat.
We stopped for dinner and I ordered beef, but somehow ended up with seafood. This tends to happen. I most certainly never order seafood but somehow I end up with it. Oh well...
Back on the road I looked out into the dark night and imagined that I was somewhere else. I used to do this as a kid on the way to Texas. Dark roads are hardly distinguishable so you could just as well be anywhere else in the world. I thought about the trip ahead, going to Malaysia, just Tien and I. The car stereo was trying to drown out the music from my iPod and I wondered what could be less sexy than Vietnamese talk radio.
We were dropped off at the same house I came to my first night in Saigon and ended up at the same hotel I was staying at when I proposed to Tien. Saigon might actually be starting to feel like home.