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Morning coffee and shades of meaning

Today I met an American friend here for coffee. It’s nice being able to talk so-called American and not worry about shades of meaning. He is even older than me. Can you imagine that? 😀.

So we talked about life here in Vietnam a lot. He is marrying a Vietnamese woman and going through the legal requirements. None are difficult but most are time consuming. He only wants to stay here. With her and the kids. There’s nothing for him back in the US. There’s a lot of us hidden in the folds and creases of countries. We don’t blog or instagram or write up the shades of life so much. So perhaps this blog can translate the almost invisible shades and let you see our little truths.

Sometimes I think many of the shades of life are particularly felt and understood here in Vietnam. There is the underlying importance of family here. The social fabric. The hospitality. The friendship. Yet the solitary times I also need to feel complete. Miles walked. Things realized. Thoughts seen.

When I leave here it will be for a place to find next. And then next after that. After all while my friend and I share some things, we are also completely different. It’s good to see him, to see my Vietnamese family, but it’s also so good to not. To find my own way. My own shades. Getting old is not about falling apart or sitting at Carl’s junior for breakfast and playing cribbage. We all want adventure and life and joy but the US declines to give. So we seek out that same thing in other places. Places we find like Cambodia or Vietnam or others. Where we can move slower but still move. Find something missing from a retired life in the US. Namely all those shades and hues in life.

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