Today will travel to places with my friend C and her husband. They own a new clothing business here in Vietnam which is pretty cool! Very distinctive styles and I get to take a few t shirts back to my daughter of their newest release. Its doubly fun because last year I went to their wedding celebration in Hanoi. Everyone else dressed really nice. Me? Not so. But no one cared and I was the only expat in the place. It was like a confusion of eating, drinking, talking, drinking, eating and meeting wonderful people that poured shots of Hanoi vodka in toast, gave me beer(s), and wanted to meet me. At our dinner table, I met my temporary Vietnamese mom who insisted I eat more chicken, prawns, noodles, sticky rice and veggies. She would fill my plate up with food if I went to meet someone or talked with a friend that spoke English that had taken me.
We had gone out a number of times before to eat everything from Korean bbq to Mexican food to burgers to pizza. I don't believe we ever had Vietnamese food because like C would tell me laughing,
we have that every day Uncle Mike!
So today will get back together with the gang minus M who now lives in Saigon. A fun group and probably the core of my friends in Hanoi are these people. Fun to go places, eat and have coffee and beers with, and just talk. There's no worry about tomorrow or yesterday with them. All about today! I'm sure food will figure prominently since here in Vietnam it always does. This will be the last time to see them all together before I go and we have not all been together except a dinner I was invited to earlier this year. C had her baby some months ago and was not able to go much before.
They would ask me what I wanted to eat. I would always say Bun Cha and they would all laugh and we would go have something really nice.
In mere days now I go. Leaving this edge behind for some time unknown but like my friend V said,
this is your home and I know you will come back to your home with us
And wherever the places are I travel to or from, I know now I have found my home but I must go. Perhaps in the end I am that wanderer and vagabond who needs must feel the touch of feet on road. Not so much about where I end up or where I started but the movement itself. The slow rush of moments on trains or feet softly touching some sidewalk. Maybe this time the train taking me to places and letting me see that country I came from that is not home.
Ahh. Traveling to places is not about the getting there. I'll do a photography project about 30 days on an Amtrak train across the western US starting in September I think. All done on my iPhone 12 Pro. But really its not arriving on the train ever but the going that captures the vagabond's fantasy.