If Vietnam has taught me one lesson it is this, whatever happened yesterday has no bearing on what will happen today. I have learnt a few life lessons – well, when I say learnt, more of an “A ha” moment – I now know to always trust my gut instinct and actually ACT on it. Easier said than done sometimes, but I know this, if you dig deep enough you already know the answer, the challenge is self acceptance and to follow your own values and core boundaries.
Language barriers aside, you can still get a feel for a place and know whether you should stay or make a bee line for the door. They say the first six months are the hardest, at what point you wake up and realise your living the ‘dream’ I don’t know. I am pretty sure I am on the right path and I just need to keep moving slowly along, like learning to walk in “heels” on a wet Saigon pavement at night holding an umbrella.
I am pleased with my progress to date. I am crossing the roads like a pro now, always mindful of that bike launching in from the right, and the cyclo driver who wants to take you everywhere “I live here” – normally does the trick. I have been ripped off, grabbed in markets and asked why I am here and why I don’t I want a massage many times.
I have learnt that you must carry an umbrella, you must have small denominations, carry toilet tissue and despite the kind demeanour of the people, my legendary don’t mess with me look does have to be put in to effect at times. I have learnt not to use my mobile whilst deciphering Google maps whilst standing on a street near the road (motorbike snatches) and that if you smile and laugh, you can and do get through most things.
I have been looked after on the way to hospital by a caring taxi driver when at deaths door, helped to order food when I was clearly out of my depth, had english translators brought in to assist. I have found caring ex-pats who have been here for a short time and a long time. Ready to listen and to help where necessary.
As I write the rain pours down and life goes on. Next week marks two months and yet another accommodation move. The time has gone quickly, yet so much has happened already.