Christmas blog post

Hello all! I woke this morning with some thoughts about Christmas for my daughter and son and a few expat friends living here and there. It’s been a challenging time for her in California other than COVID-19 times. Relationships and slowly finding her space in life after depression and anxiety sent her to the hospital earlier. Now she has a job and a life at home with her mom. I’m proud of her sticking to things, finding a path to deal with life and now having to go back to Florida to clear out of the apartment she and her boyfriend rented and the one he abandoned for whatever the hell reason. He seemed a really nice guy but I had felt since I visited February that something was up. Now I know.

in other news

I’ve lived here in Vietnam this time since February 18th 2020. It’s the longest I’ve stayed anywhere. In April we had a single 21 day national lockdown and then it eased off. Vietnam would go almost 100 days with no community cases of covid. Then a second outbreak in July. In the usual fashion Vietnam kicked some ass on it and did their contact tracing, they locked down villages and establishments, tested just about everyone. All this in about a month and it was done. Finally early December we had a small outbreak because someone broke quarantine rules and then infected a small group. This was dealt with in a few weeks and it was again after months of no community infection. The same basic process was done again and now we are free from community infections for almost a month again.

What it means is feeling safer and no enforced restaurant, mall, or store closures. Face masks are mandatory when going out and you can be fined $50 or so if you don’t wear one. Public places require masks such as malls, airports, buses. Parks strongly advise mask wearing and there are lots of signs up. Hanoi has lots of parks and people socialize, play sports, skateboard, and find street food vendors for tea and food.

What all this has meant for this old retired guy is the sense of being safer and I can go out as I please. I can travel where I want within Vietnam. If I leave Vietnam I cannot get back in. Visas are not being granted to enter here and it’s been that way since March.

So that’s life now on this Christmas Day in Vietnam. Vietnamese friends wish me happy holidays. Many ask if I need anything, if I have eaten, where I’ve been lately in Hanoi. I try to take pictures and share but to see them it’s on mastodon, Facebook or on my blog every so often. I changed the hosting for photos from google photos to smugmug since they offer a basic plan which I pay once a year for and it’s unlimited. I don’t need some wonderful photography website since I have no interest in all those aspects of photography and what I do is for capturing moments and memories. Facebook works fine to let me see the places I’ve been so I use it. Also most or all of my Vietnamese friends are very active on Facebook. When I deleted the account, many people here wished me to come back. So I did. It’s never been a serious endeavor to me.

So that’s about all and it’s a cool, cloudy morning in Hanoi. I think a bowl of pho would taste really good so perhaps I will walk down to the neighborhood pho shop and have some.

Have a wonderful Christmas when it reaches you. Be safe and happy in all things. In mindfulness they say to take the moment. Take your moment. Enjoy. Happy holidays to the wonderful crew that shares their writing over on and to the team.

December 24, 2020