Sunday, January 07, 2007

On my own now...

Well, this is it. I'm officially on my own now.
Friday morning we took Ali to the airport, got her checked in and her excess luggage paid for, then, well, left. Walked out the door, into our car, drove back to the office, and Erica started her new life officially as the only Health Coordinator for the Cao Bang ADRA office.
Fortunately that night there was a wonderful thing waiting for me at my hotel – my sister's best friend from high school, and younger sister of one of my best high school friends, came to my hotel and saved me from being alone on my first Friday night without Ali in Hanoi.
My sister's friend is touring through Vietnam and Thailand visiting college friends. She's been here for a month now, and she's been doing it all Vietnam style until now, so I had the extreme pleasure of being able to take her out for Italian food and cappuccino and pancakes and fruit smoothies done Indian style and ice cream and chocolate mousse and all that Western goodness. And she was kind enough to deliver all these wonderful things that she carried across the ocean to help make my life here that much more comfortable. Then she was also kind to accompany me on my shopping rounds to store after Western-style store – and rejoice over the extraordinary contents (like cereal and root beer) with me.
She made my first weekend in Hanoi so much more fulfilling than I could have ever hoped for, and by means of such a wonderful and simple coincidence, she helped me bridge into my life here. By the simple act of allowing me to drag her all over Hanoi showing her the few places I know here – and get as drooly excited about the pirated DVD shop as I did – she built up my confidence to the point that I'm no longer scared of this city. I know I can make it now.
Thanks! It was fun!!

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