I am hopefully getting my electronic visa (evisa) today or tomorrow so I can then buy my airline tickets for the whole thing. I already found the flights or something close I want and I can buy them either individually or using the multi trip thing. The visa require some temporary address in Vietnam so I listed the hotel in Saigon but the majority of time will be spent in Hanoi. I think three days in Saigon would just about do it for me. If my friend Tom lived in Hanoi, I would not stop in Saigon at all. I’m not terribly fond of the city.
Anyways, this trip is about squeezing a few things into a month. I’ll get three weeks or more in Hanoi to wander the streets, eat some meals, drink some coffee (omg), and see friends. Oh and drink some beer by West Lake more than a few times. Hopefully find my way back to the same little cafes that dot the West Lake. Lily and I will do Mystic Cafe because she loves the eclectic nature of food there from Mexican to Chinese to Vietnamese. We will also do SunKats burgers because everyone loves SunKats. Then there’s Tet times which I get one day of or so. Tet means a meal with a family that includes me. Van welcomes me to her home, serves me beer, spoils me with her cooking. I get to spend some time in a Vietnamese home. After an evening of drinking and eating, only days left for me in Vietnam. I have to clear the country by 25th January so I will probably go a day early.
The whole Vietnam thing made me question why I would rent an apartment if I am not going to be in the apartment at all really. So I talked with Miss Kim here and I will just keep going with this Airbnb because the rooms just work for me and Kim is a caring and fun person. I think I will be back in Cambodia for some months and will then leave for Malaysia for three months by April or so. I am not sure what I’ll do there or if I will stay the whole time. I know I won’t be going to Thailand because I dislike Thailand with a passion. I could go elsewhere though like Singapore and see some old work friends still there.
I have this visa extension for a year which is up next October. I cannot see myself letting it expire since it is the nicest deal in Asia for retirement and I get a year at a time no question asked. My friend David asked me if I would just live in Siem Reap. I love it here. Love the pace of the life. The people here are special to me. There is no conflict to me staying or going. I just live the life I wish to live wherever. If Vietnam had a retirement visa I would go there and live. They don’t so I can’t.
So it brings me back to Siem Reap and maybe even yesterday when this cloud rolled in and I was kinda walking home.
Pretty dark right? We had some lightning and thunder and a few drops of rain. But there in the distance, the sky turned that bright blue and many people looked to it. I perhaps did too and found this gray promise of a time to come with either rain or sunshine.
This morning though we got cloudy skies again so I sit with a cup of room coffee and spend time twirling words to Ulysses for this post. Vietnam. Visas. Life. Clouds. Living in Siem Reap. I am not sure what any of them mean. I just know how it all is this moment, this morning, I am happy with. I have the final thoughts tumbling out to the blog.
Now I’m done with the morning. I think some coffee to come some place nice by the river later. Some photos because the iPhone 14 pro toy likes to play.