Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Home again. Here’s a wrap-up of my last 40-something hours. Yesterday morning I went with Susan to the post office and then for some last minute shopping. The post office had a sponge to wet my stamps, but my cold, sweating water bottle was more effective. We took a cab over to a store called Craftlink. This is a store that supports the minority craftsfolk in rural areas to get a fair wage and keep alive the crafts of the regions. It’s like a Ten Thousand Villages store in
After shopping, we went to a restaurant called Koto. It was so cool and trendy, it could have been in LA or NY. It was started by a chef trained in
In the afternoon, I went with Liz (another Sandy-friend who had just arrived from the states) and
I got a manicure and pedicure while Sandy and Liz got massages and then we headed home. I had more pho (soup) for dinner and ate almost the whole thing!! After dinner we headed over to a ‘Culture Night’ from one of the school teams. They were doing an version of American Bandstand with music through
I took a cab to the airport for my 11:30pm flight. Once though customs, there was a little shopping center with the opportunity to spend what little VND I had left. I got some last minute small things. One of the Duty Free shops had Droste chocolate and I thought that the whole Dutch theme from the
Now I had booked a Day Room on-line through the advice of several friends. When I got to the main lobby, I went to information to ask where the day rooms were. This is where the best laid plans go awry. Because I didn’t have my boarding pass for my 4pm flight, I had to go through customs, but now I find out that the Day Rooms are on the other side of Customs. However, I can’t go BACK through customs because I don’t have a boarding pass. And…I can’t get a boarding pass because the counter won’t open for another 2 ½ hours!! At this point, I REALLY tired from still being a bit sick and all the travel. I go up by the shops and find the observation deck, thinking I might be able to stretch out there for an hour or two, but the observation deck is actually outside and it’s been raining. I find a fairly empty hall with 3 seats in a row that don’t have arms and I just curl up and doze off and on.
I know once I go through customs that there aren’t any regular shops, just Duty Free, and since I don’t need any Chanel, Guess, Izod, or cigarettes I need to do any shopping I want to do before I go through. I’m also not thinking overly clearly and am trying to find somewhere that will serve a “bland” breakfast. I finally find a little restaurant that has pancakes and eat my breakfast and the new 5-day does of antibiotics. Somewhat fortified, though still sickeningly exhausted, I head down to try to get my boarding pass. This is a fairly long line, though moving fairly quickly. I head through customs (convinced that there is nothing that I NEED to shop for in
Mental and practical note: just because it FEELS like Mall of America, doesn’t mean that it IS!! I’m staring at the map (no mention of Day Rooms) and looking at the “Guide to
As I get on the plane and get settled into my seat, a group of US students get on the plane. This eighth grader gets on and realizes, to his EMENSE horror, that he is sitting not by his friends, but by ME!! The look on his face was slightly amusing, but when his friends walked in, saw who he was sitting by, and snickered or laughed!!! I’m officially the old lady that kids don’t want to sit by. As we landed, I said, “So, was sitting by me as bad as you and your friends thought it would be?” He blushed and said, “Yes,” but I’m thinking he meant “no” and was just flustered that I actually spoke to him.
So now I’m back, safe, and sound. Not as sick as even 2 days ago!!
Thanks for following this journey.