Alright, so I have not been blogging as frequently as I thought I would, but then I never thought that my exhaustion from the absolutely insane but financially logical flight plan to Vietnam would weigh me down so even in the first few days in Ho Chi Minh City. I suppose it does not help that the discord in time between the US and Vietnam has resulted in several sleepless nights for me. Also, the intellectually poetic prose of my husband’s blog as well as the touchingly humorous and astute blogs of my dear sisters have unintentionally summoned a deep feeling of incompetence and shame in my own abilities. In any case, I made it to Vietnam!
I spent the majority of the journey to Vietnam in a state of confusion and sleepiness despite the wondrous efficiency of Asiana Airlines and the tempting in-flight meals, most of which I missed and one meal in particular that my sisters have not hesitated to point out that I will deeply regret missing for the duration of my life. The long layover in Seoul, Korea was both a blessing and a curse as my spirit was briefly re-invigorated with the novel sights and sounds of a foreign country, but was soon dampened thereafter by the inevitable connecting flight. However, I must confess that my time in Seoul was well worth it as both my husband and I discovered his love for little girls‘ traditional hair accessories and yes, I have photographic evidence that I am more than willing to share.
Similar to many other momentous occasions for me, landing in Ho Chi Minh City for the very first time in my life initially proved to be anticlimatic. This feeling was reinforced with the routines of flight arrival - the rough descent of the aircraft, the nauseating taxi to the gate, the chaotic passenger carry-on retrieval at the exact same time, the slow and torturous wait to get off the plane, and the long trek to claim baggage followed by the stress and uncertainty of whether your checked baggage made it to your destination. Fortunately, all our checked baggage made it to Vietnam. And fortunately for me, this anticlimatic feeling quickly dissipated once I stepped beyond the sliding doors of Tan Son Nhat International Airport into the humid embrace of Ho Chi Minh City.
I may never be able to exactly describe what I felt that night because perhaps I am not even sure of everything I felt that night, though I am certain that I felt overwhelmed. At the very start, this journey was laced with great expectations - going home to where I and my parents come from for the very first time and meeting family I have only ever heard about in stories for the very first time. So armed with these great expectations, I went out to meet a country and a family for the first time, and it was simply wonderful. Being greeted and embraced by so many uncles and aunts who were all the spitting image of my mother was genuinely heart-warming, yet very overwhelming. Only brief words and meaningful glances were exchanged as my husband, my sisters, and I were rushed to our hotel by the hotel shuttle, but in those precious few minutes, a substantial promise was made by a city and a family that I finally met to meet again soon. As I sat looking out at Ho Chi Minh City from our hotel shuttle, I felt a sense of peace blanket me as I at last found a missing piece of my soul.