The keyboard has been dusted and the mouse de-cobwebbed but my mind is still rusty from a lack of writing and an overwhelming, yet much-anticipated, return to Vietnam. Sarah and I have been back for exactly a week, having touched down in the sauna that is Saigon for another crack at this spinning, whirling city existence. I wasn’t sure what to expect or what emotions would unwrap themselves from my intestines to coil themselves around my aorta and Hoover my eyeballs, but I’m definitely better prepared and to date the chemical balances have played their part, but can you ever be totally prepared for this place? It’s absolutely nuts, in the macadamia flavoured ice-cream laced with noisy pecans kind of way. It takes some time (nearly exactly a year) away to find some perspective as to how unique – and I use that word brazenly against the better wishes of that fierce invalid home from hot climates Switters – this country and city really is. Who designed this place, or did it just organically grow, like a life-force of it’s own into the chaotic coexistence of rushing people? If I were an anthropologist I’d have my a buffet plate full of this place.
I’ve probably had a dozen or more people ask me, puzzled at why we’ve left the ‘greener climes’ and prospects of Oz behind to back track, “Why did you come to Vietnam?” Sometimes I spluttered a reply that sounded, to me, more like an excuse, trying to justify the decision. Bollocks and brittle bones. None more of that. It’s a step forward in the direction we want to go and I can feel it in my marrow, in that shining ball we have inside us, that things just feel right. It’s the same feeling that I had when I asked Sarah to marry me. Every sinewy fibre says it feels right. For those of you who live in this clamorous, pecan ice-cream of a city, with its wealth of gastronomic goodies, ambition and potential, its accommodating locals and carefree lifestyle, just look around you and rephrase that question to: “What took you so bloody long?!”
That said, I am glad to be back to what feels like “home”, of which I guess I now have three. Having spent the last two months living a transient lifestyle out of a suitcase between Australia, South Africa and Oz again, I am relieved to have finally settled again. Next week we’ll unpack our new life on the dizzying heights of the 9th floor in a larnie new apartment block, fully equipped with touch-pad security, a 25m pool, tennis courts and shiny (and as yet non-sweat stained) gym in a leafy and unexplored corner of District 7.
I’ll try and document, in pictures and words, this new experience. I vow to keep this rickety clunker of a computer mote-free and keep those devious devils of rust and lethargy at bay and blog it out to the end.