Plans always change, next stop San Francisco

2009-07-27 22:07:00-0700

Like many times before, yesterday we had our plans and then they were changed on us. At breakfast this morning Tien told me that she talked to her school and had learned that she had employment obligations that required her to stay in Vietnam and work through September. With that finality, I've decided the best next step is for me to quit resisting everything that is directing me to go back to America on my planned travel date, and so I will fly back to America tomorrow night and arrive in San Francisco before noon on Thursday.

By Daniel , Category: blog

Tags: journal / life / travel / plans / vietnam /

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The return from Malaysia

2009-07-27 21:07:00-0700

Tien had expressed how happy she was to be back in her home country when we were walking through the airport, and it showed once we got in the taxi. She smiled a lot and was chatting up a storm with the taxi driver. I began to sink back into ...

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Malaysia, Part 2

2009-07-26 07:07:00-0700

Wednesday I woke up to hurricane winds and our hotel shaking. I moved the love seat in off the patio expecting to have torrential rains hitting soon, then I went back to sleep. When I woke up 3 hours later everything was calm. I guess that's just how night ...

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Malaysia, Part 1

2009-07-24 01:07:00-0700

Sunday morning we woke up and hurried out for breakfast at our usual spot before checking out of the hotel and catching a taxi to the airport. Tien had rarely been inside an airport before. She had never been on a plane before. She had never left the country before ...

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One Day in Saigon before Malaysia

2009-07-19 19:07:00-0700

Saturday, Tien and I woke up at the familiar Ruby Star which is situated in the Pham Ngu Lao area of Saigon. Our room was small and had no window so realizing that it was time to get up was difficult from the darkness of our bed, but an incoming ...

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Bad Breakfasts, Leaving Binh Hoa with Tien

2009-07-19 07:07:00-0700

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 ...

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The Engagement Party

2009-07-16 20:07:00-0700

Tuesday was the day of our engagement party. We woke up and went to the bank to withdraw some money that was a gift from my parents and my grandmother. This took a long time. We then went to a jeweler and Tien bought a lot of jewelry, then we ...

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Visa Issues

2009-07-14 20:07:00-0700

Sunday was a rainy day. Everybody was hanging out because there's not much to do outside when it's rainy, and it's difficult to get places on a scooter while it's raining. I was on my computer fiddling around when Tien came in looking a little sad ...

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A Tragedy in Binh Hoa

2009-07-14 07:07:00-0700

Saturday morning I woke up to Tien climbing back into bed. “I have some bad news from the people in my village..." She went on to tell me that the father of her best friend Trinh, whose family lives across the street, was on his way back from taking his ...

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The Trip from Binh Duong, Conspiring About Visas

2009-07-12 01:07:00-0700

At about 1:40am the bus finally arrived at our guesthouse in Binh Duong. 40 minutes late is par for the course in Vietnamese transit. As we were getting on a man in a brown shirt shook my hand and tried to talk to me in Vietnamese. I just passed ...

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A short stay in Binh Duong

2009-07-11 06:07:00-0700

While we were in Vung Tau Mai was on the phone quite a bit talking with a friend of hers who she knew online and he invited us to stay at his place in Binh Duong, which was on the way to Saigon, so we decided to go. Unfortunately when ...

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Trip to Vũng Tàu

2009-07-08 01:07:00-0700

My layover between Vientiane and Saigon was Phnom Penh. I thought this would be great because I could call Tien using my Cambodian SIM card and let her know that my flight was an hour late, but she didn't pick up. We were on the ground for about 15 ...

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Lazy in Laos

2009-07-03 20:07:00-0700

Having arrived late to Vientiane and taken the first guesthouse with an opening, Thursday morning I went to find a better option, an option with Internet. That is vital if you want to stay in touch with people who are scattered around the globe.

I checked into a nice looking ...

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Bye bye Bangkok, hello Laos

2009-07-01 08:07:00-0700

I'm in one of those mid range SE Asian guesthouses again. The kind with the mini fridge stocked with soda, water and local beer. They're nice enough to have an air conditioner, but not nice enough to have free wifi. There's a shower, but no bath tub ...

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More Thailand

2009-06-30 08:06:00-0700

SE Asia has very deep roots in Buddhism. I didn't know this when I came here. I'm beginning to see that pretty much everything in the history of Asia revolves around politics and religion. I don't think that there is anything to see that is not modern ...

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Visiting The Emerald Buddha

2009-06-27 09:06:00-0700

When I woke up and came down stairs, My's mother Ratana greeted me. She had been in India for work and arrived while I was sleeping. She was really nice and outgoing and made me feel at home. She was the only one I'd e-mailed with about my ...

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Ancient Siam and the King's Museum

2009-06-26 05:06:00-0700

When I woke up this morning the first thing I noticed was the sound of songbirds outside, which has so far been absent from my Asian trip.

Michael Jackson had died while I was asleep.

Everybody was gone from the house except Max. I had coffee and a muffin and ...

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24 hours from Cambodia to Thailand

2009-06-25 08:06:00-0700

As I was planning, and thankfully the hackers were keeping up, I was able to jailbreak my iPhone and install network unlocking software on it which would enable me to use it as a phone outside of AT&T's network. I downloaded the tools to do this and did ...

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Second day in Siem Reap

2009-06-23 20:06:00-0700

After the first day at Angkor Wat, Taka went to a nearby travel agency to square away his plans to go to Phuket. While I was waiting outside for him I saw a motorcycle with a food stand sidecar drive by.

We went and got dinner at some dead lounge ...

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First Day at Angkor Wat

2009-06-22 04:06:00-0700

Along the way to Siem Reap it began raining heavily and shortly afterwards we pulled off for a rest. Some kids were playing in the warm rain that was dripping off the roof, running back and forth under it. Some of us ate little meat filled buns. Taka ate some ...

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Melancholy in Phnom Penh

2009-06-21 00:06:00-0700

In the morning I went to find a bookstore and ended up first having breakfast and photographing the graffiti that had been done by Londoners. I found the bookstore and it was closed but a man told me it opened at 9:30. When I was on my way back ...

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First day in Cambodia

2009-06-20 09:06:00-0700

The road north to Cambodia was immediately nicer than other roads I've taken into or inside of Saigon. They were more like the roads on Hanoi, more modern and maintained, and this gave promise to the many construction site billboards showing the future office complexes and industry sites that ...

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Photographed and gone to Cambodia

2009-06-19 19:06:00-0700

I spent the morning on the subject en of a Kodak DSLR in a photo session reminiscent of that in "Lost in Transaltion". The photographer was good though, and Tien looked ƒ incredible. I felt like a doofus next to such stunning beauty, but her sisters flattered me into a ...

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Rings and things

2009-06-17 18:06:00-0700

The fact that I didn't have a ring when I proposed to Tien did not mean I didn't intend to get one for her, even if Vietnamese girls don't traditionally get them. I wanted to get something for her before I headed off to travel so she ...

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Living the Dream

2009-06-14 01:06:00-0700

After a morning out with Tien walking around Saigon in the hot sun, after I asked her to marry me, we did what most people do during the mid day heat and napped it away in a cool place. We talked and were happy with all that had happened and ...

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