I am looking out my front door at the moment and can not believe the difference from yesterday. All of the people camping on the beach are gone. The busses, minivans, and cars that lined the streets have moved on. I think life will get back to normal as of tomorrow. The ten days for holidays that come with the Lunar New Year is finally over, and I could not be more happy. Some items I need for repairs have not been available. I had a light burn out on the top hallway, and an air-conditioner lose it’s connection with the remote. Now I can deal with these issues. I had a bit of another issue last night that ended up getting resolved to everybody’s satisfaction. A mother and two daughters was sent to us by a referring hotel in Saigon. They were under the understanding that we would have a room for them, however, I had told the person in Saigon, that we had a place that they could use in an emergency only if they could find no accommodation. As usual, a little
communication breakdown that happens so often in Vietnam. Mai and I were out having dinner when the panicked call came. We rushed back and explained to the women that there was no rooms in town at all and if they wished, we could put them up in our laundry room. They seemed very unhappy about that, but after a little talking, they decided to take a look at the room as they were tired and frustrated. When they walked out on the balcony and saw the view, they cheered up. They have a bathroom, mattresses, and a balcony.
The only drawback is that they have to walk down five levels to shower in our lobby bathroom. They took it like real troopers, and asked if they could maybe stay a second night. We will see how that turns out.
Vietnamese people are a very agile bunch. I guess growing up with no real furniture forces them to seek comfort any way they can. I am looking right
now at two women sitting in my lobby watching TV. Both of them are using chairs, but not in the way they are intended. One is curled up with legs tucked beneath her like a cat, and leaning forward on the back of the chair. The other, on leg dangling over the edge of the arm while propping an elbow in the same arm. I think that us foreigners would suffer all kind of back pains if we attempted to sit in such a manner. You may have noticed in some pictures that there are people squatting seemingly perched birdlike. This is normal here. There are generally no chairs in their world, so they just drop and squat where needed. In the repair shops, there are no hoists to raise a vehicle in the air, so mechanics will work the same way for hours at a time. I see construction workers, repair men, scramble up the sides of walls like monkeys working in twisted positions. They are an amazing people. They have adapted to the most uncomfortable situation and created comfort by just simply ignoring it.
As usual, a few random shots. Today we credit Don