I will again add some random pictures to break up my droning on and then end with the day’s events.
It is only a day before Christmas. There seems to be no anticipation here of the days ahead, just business as usual. The students are off however, so coffee shops and evening romance spots are a hopping. Last night, I dropped by the Shamrock Irish pub and the Texas Grill, two out of many good dining and drinking establishments. The Irish pub is importing some turkey, and is offering Christmas dinner. I talked with the owner for a while, and then headed over to the Texas grill to stop for a cool one and have a chat with the owner. I was only a few minutes into a conversation, when John called over a person to help with a question I had. As coincidence would have it, He turned out to be a fellow that I had talked with a year prior over an internet forum. He had offered me some moving advice then, and again in the present. This got me to thinking of how we got here and those that helped make it happen I may have spoken of some of this before. (If this was a movie we would dreamily fade to black and white at this point)
It was quite a scary thing. I had a stable decent paying job, and a beautiful home. Mai also had a good stable job. Life got to the point where a day would consist of wake, exercise, eat, work, eat, work, and sleep. Eventually just add the word die, and that would be my life. It was getting depressing. We made the decision to put our house on the market not expecting a quick sale as the economy was still bad, and our house is a little higher priced than the average. However, the second couple who came to see it entered an offer we ended up accepting…. Wholly Smokes!! Now we have to move! I originally arranged for a company to send my crated goods overseas. At the last moment, it fell all apart and everything had to be sold, or disposed of. My parents must have sensed some of my desperation because they offered to travel 1100 km to help me with a garage sale. Mom and Dad to the rescue!! My Mom, Dad, my mother’s friend Tommy, and her son Jason took brief charge of my life and allowed me to sleep off my shock. Without them I would probably still be standing in one spot shivering like a leaf. Once the garage sale was underway, I found myself coming to terms with the decision to move. Many of my large and expensive items were sold to personal friends, other items we gave to nieces, nephews, and other family members. We both got a good deal. They got quality furniture for a very low price, and I got the satisfaction of it being used by people I like and did recoup some money that I am using to furnish my Vietnam home. After the burden of giving everything up was off my shoulders, we headed out the door with some boxes, and a few suitcases free as birds.
We had a couple of weeks to tie up loose ends before we left, and we were graciously put up by my sister. She lives a little outside the city and does not have a high speed internet connection… As Marlon Brando put it best……. The Horror….. The Horror..I was probably not the best guest she could put up with, so I appreciate the accommodation all that much more. I was able to keep busy doing a few odd and end jobs for her. We then departed to Victoria BC to spend 2 weeks with Mom and Dad before jumping in the big bird. It was a nice visit, and I have to admit that Victoria is nice place. I look forward to spending more time there in the future. We spent much of our time just taking in Victoria life and then drove down to Seattle to visit with Ken, another Internet forum buddy that I had never met in person. We confirmed our friendship and will be meeting again in Saigon in the beginning of February. (Looking forward to that)
At the end of November we were off to Vietnam. Behind we leave Cathy and Dave (brother and sister in law), Cathy (sister), Carolyn & Ian with their beautiful daughter, and Eric (nieces and nephews). We love them all and truly hope that they can understand us wanting to come here. We also leave behind, many friends and co-workers. You will all be missed……… really! We will be back to visit, but maybe now as tourists. There are also thing I will probably miss about my home country Canada. We have only been here a month, so things that I will miss have not creped up on me yet. I may not mention family and friends as much as I should, but, I am leaving a lot of personal things out intentionally. I will one day try to monetize this blog, and want it to be informative and entertaining to a general audience.
Speaking of audiences….. Wow!! My blog has been read by over 16,000 people with 400 regular subscribers. Not bad for a little over a month. The majority of readers are from Canada, followed by a close second Vietnam and then USA. It surprises me that there are so many Vietnam readers. I will have to add some material aimed at them… perhaps a topic on Snow? He He He. There are also readers from the UK, Japan, And some European countries. WELCOME EVERYBODY!!!
Now for today’s adventure:
Today I decided it was time for a haircut. I headed to the local Hoc Toc (haircut) shop with the anticipation that I would be enjoying a beautiful woman doting over my hair, and probably jokingly proposing marriage… (are you starting to detect a patternJ?) I walked to her salon, and when she realized my intention, she ran over from across the street and informed me that she could not help me. I was confused… She sent me off in a different direction. Another girl on a motorcycle buzzed to me a couple of times making sure I was headed to the proper place. Now, If you know anything about Vietnam, it may be about their notorious brothel haircut/massage places. I thought this was where I was headed and was curious as to how this would end. But alas….. I turned the corner of the dirt road and there was a rickety shack, a group of men in front playing a tile game swearing vigorously at the board. Behind them was weather hardened mean looking fellow cleaning the wax out of somebody’s ears with an instrument that should never go near a persons head. I was committed now, so I bravely plopped into a home made barbers seat, Everybody was eyeing me askance probably amazed that a westerner was even in the hood, let alone getting a trim. To my amazement, he whipped out the exact same clippers I used to do my hair at home. His shop was powered by a long extension cord that somebody had spliced into a power line. The haircut was good, the moustache trimmed neatly. I stopped him as he reached to shave me with a straight razor, starting at the throat. The experience was not as pleasant as having a tiny Asian beauty dancing around snipping here, and snipping there……. But it was an experience. The cost? 1 US buck.