It has been two years since we landed on Vietnamese soil and still I haven't decided what I think about this place. I can tell you that I have never in my life felt more free than I have driving the streets of this Socialist Republic after midnight. I come from Canada, which is considered to be one of the most free countries in the world, and while I agree with that somewhat, I never would have realized how much fear I was carrying around with me while I was there. I would drive my car and feel afraid of speeding or if I had a beer or two that was always on my mind. While I was working, I was always afraid of being caught screwing around, like I always did, by my bosses. I was consciously aware of the fact that I was working for other people in Canada, where here it feels more like I am working for myself. There are so many things to fear in Canada that I was taking for granted until I left.
These people are barbaric, innocent, honest,unique,playful,ambivalent,creative and welcoming. I have complained long and hard about the Vietnamese over drinks at a local Western bar, but there is a sincerity with these people that I would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Vietnam is like a second home to me, and especially now that we are discussing leaving here and going back to Taiwan, for a short time, before finally heading home to end this epic pilgrimage. I want to make the most of this situation and get everything I can out of these people and this place, by finally shaking off my Canadian hang-ups and pre-conceived notions, and just letting myself enjoy this chaotic and complicated country. I love Vietnam and I love the Vietnamese in a way that you love a long losing baseball team or an old beat up car you just can't let go of.
We are leaving. that is a fact and a foregone conclusion. Yet, I am already missing this place before I have even left it. It has ruined me in a lot of ways and I have a lot of changing to do, whereby I can even fit back in to the Canada I have left almost four years ago. It will be interesting, and I guess that is all that matters. we are short-timing now in Asia, and we will see where this road takes us. I can't wait for the trip.