Good news from the blog gods–yesterday more than 100 people logged onto my site and read my endless ramblings! This is exciting and motivates me to write today–even though, for me, it’s late, I’m tired, and you may not care how many lost souls actually consume my silly posts.
However, you may care to know that S. seems to be feeling better. Please note that I use the word “seems” purposefully, as I am beginning to look less at her health as it varies from day to day and more at longer term trends. Clearly one day of seeming improvement does not a trend make. I should add that she at least looks better, though by “better” I mean little more than “less miserable.” Interpret this as you will.
S. has mentioned that so far Vietnam seems to lack the aesthetic of Thailand and warned that Ho Chi Minh may not offer some of the creature comforts I had learned to associate with Bangkok. Apparently the infrastructure of Vietnam has not kept pace with other places in Asia and what is there has not always been well maintained. Is this the impact of Communism on the country or the residual effect of war that seeps into the very heart and soul and soil of a city and lingers even 30 years after the fighting itself has stopped?
In addition to these aesthetic and infrastructure issues S. also describes what, even to her, seem to be strange traffic patterns. For instance, several days ago a colleague from her Bangkok office warned that Vietnam had an over-abundance of motor bikes. S. suspected this could not possibly be the case, as she had traveled extensively in places like India where the behaviour of motorcyclists was indeed bizarre and frightened even her. She has always told me that India was one country in which she would NEVER drive! However, she mentioned this morning that she now knows what her friend meant. Yesterday as she attempted to cross the street to her office, she was nearly run off the sidewalk, when seeming armies of motorbikes merged onto and overtook every inch of the already crowded walkway, creating an extra lane of traffic to alleviate increased congestion on the street itself. She said that as it is sidewalks nearly cease to exist, as shops overtake them, moving their goods out to the edges of on-coming traffic in an effort to accommodate a claustrophobic and suffocating lack of space. On her Facebook page today, she even boasts having completed her most recent crossing without having suffered bodily harm.
Thank goodness for even the smallest of successes, whether they relate to sidewalk survival or blessings from the blog gods. We take what we can get!