I was out today when my dear friend Lily in Vietnam messaged me. It has been I think over a year since seeing her and I have not been back to Vietnam since July 2021. It is rather amazing I guess that the year that went by in Mexico and now the months back in Southeast Asia have gone by. At first after leaving Vietnam, things just seemed rather pointless or I felt this lack. Sometimes sadness or despair could strike but I also had Mexico and I managed to stay in a few wonderful places. Vietnam still was there in photos and memories and friends messaging me asking the W questions but mostly the When question.
This time Lily messaged me almost in tears and we talked and she told me she needed me. Needed me to be with her for some bit of time. Perhaps in Hanoi when she went up for school stuff.
I walked around Phnom Penh and realized nothing is really holding me back from visiting. What I wanted was to get back to visit in time to have the Tet holidays or some of them with my friend Van at her house in Hanoi. She cooks for me, we talk a lot, we go out for food but Tet is particularly significant. I really wanted to be in Vietnam but especially in Hanoi for Tet. So anyways after this bit of reflection, I looked at the dates. Looked when Lily will be in Hanoi. It all fit together so I looked at flights from Siem Reap and it all fit there too. So with ultimate excitement and impatience I will book some travel in late December:
- Siem Reap to Saigon for 3 days to visit Vietnamese friends there.
- Saigon to Hanoi for three weeks or so. I get to see so many wonderful people again in Hanoi, go for walks, take photos, find my Lily there. Then there is Van and my wonderful friends Paul and Duyen. Then Tet comes along on 22 January so I have a few days of Tet time.
- Hanoi to Saigon and back to Siem Reap. Then back home again.
I guess this means there is no need for an apartment until some time to be determined. But Vietnam. Oh man… Vietnam.
That magical sun setting in a fiery display over West Lake. Then there is the time in Saigon. Not my favorite place but there are wonders to be found there too.
Here is the opera house with Vincom Mall behind. The wonderful view of old and new.
I’m sure more photos will come. More memories, moments, and experiences.
Now it is the waiting until 27 December.