Mastodon Michael Perry

Down to hours or a day

So now the overall discussion around our place is Vietnam. We leave tomorrow but out flight changed twice. Some irritation because it made us miss our initial connections. Instead I just reinvented the stay. Tomorrow we reach Saigon at night and stay at the beautiful Ibis Saigon airport hotel. Just literally hundreds of feet from the airport. Then up for breakfast and an easy morning at the hotel.

Since Alin has not been to Da Nang or Hoi An I tried to make both tours and sightseeing and relaxation for our 5 days. We stay at My Khe beach so will spend our Wednesday at the beach and hotel pool. Then Thursday off to our big tour. A private tour to BaNa Hills. Where the golden bridge lives. Meanwhile downtown city means slow strolls along the Han riverwalk. One of the most beautiful I can remember.

Finally day before we leave we visit Hoi An ancient town for the day. Meet an expat friend for lunch and see the city of lanterns at night.

The next day we leave again for a night at the same hotel in Saigon and then back home. This is our one big trip this year per Alin rules. But it’s not like we’re done. In some weeks we go to the Preah Vihear province where mum lives to wish her belated happy new year, bring presents and spend time with her. We go every other month or so because we love her and she asks Alin every time she speaks with her to bring Mike to see her.

Then later in May off to Kampot. Probably a week. Kampot is some business stuff for Alin around land she owns. For me, it is nothing. Much like what I do most days.

Later this year we have a few places in Cambodia to visit. It may be we go to Koh Rong island off of Sihanoukville for a few days. We will definitely make the trek to Mondulkiri Province. After seeing photos and reading about Mondulkiri, it’s a place I really want us to go. There’s so much to see and do in Cambodia and having a Khmer wife to just take me, interpret, tease me most days, and give me her best love as we go makes the life in Siem Reap and on the road enjoyable. And sensual and erotic at times.

Meanwhile Vietnam

Ahh, the word. Memories of all the times I have gone, lived there, entered from some airport and the last time I was there for Tet this year. Before that it was 2021 and then things were so different. Left not knowing if or when I would come back. Sadness and gloom at the Noi Bai Airport. The beautiful Japanese flight attendants made it much better for the flight from Vietnam to Narita. That 2021 will stick forever in this old head. But now so many new memories and what I feel was this personal victory of life for me finding this woman and living this time slowly. Her leaning over me this morning and kissing me and calling me her husband with loving endearment. I have to admit to grabbing her butt because it was there and it’s cute.

Now she goes off to visit Khmer friends and I sit with Vietnam in the meanwhile position. I feel like sharing a thing from some time there. Let’s see what I can find.

Must be Phu Quoc Island my one visit there back in some year. I had a great time on the island flying in from Can Tho after seeing Lily.

All those Vietnam times seem sometimes like dusty old things. Synapses almost left aimless and not linking up but then I remember the tour I took around the island. Visiting little out of the way places the tour guide decided to show me since I was the only one. We stopped at a beautiful beach, went to a fishing village I could have stayed longer at, and ended at a beautiful pagoda.

So there’s this Sunday. Not a lot to do and all day to get it done. We go at the same speed we always do. Breakfast out this morning at a bakery cafe. Talking, laughing, Alin poking fun at me and being teased back. Life seems so full these days but yet I have so much time to simply sit in the little apartment we have with the fan going. Time to find another photo? Well, yeah. Here’s some more Vietnam for ya.

This from my last trip to Hanoi Vietnam this year. I wandered one day and got lost and found this lake with a war memorial and a shot down US Air Force plane. I stopped there awhile to get a sense of the history of it and how I happened to find it. Then I stopped for coffee at a small bistro by the lake. People wished me happy Tet and I just sat that cool, cool day. Almost one of my last days to wander the city. Perhaps my phone had a message from Van. Maybe my friends David and My were asking about me. I just stayed put and let the messages play out. I only had days left. Hours so precious in Hanoi to wander and get lost. Stop at a Bia Hoi and indulge.

Little did I really know after that one trip how life was gonna make changes. Because right after Vietnam is when I met Alin.

Thanks for reading the memorial and my down to hours to go before yet another trip to one of my favorite places on earth. Da Nang Vietnam.

April 16, 2023