It’s 10:42am and I’m blogging from Thomaston, Georgia, U.S.A.! I left Vietnam Friday morning (Vietnam time) at 6:05am, and flew to Atlanta via Hong Kong and Chicago, arrived in Atlanta at 6:40pm Friday (Georgia time) – a little over 24 hours door to door.
The most recent blog post “from” Long An was actually auto-posted – I set my blog up to auto-post it at 6pm Friday, Vietnam time, before I left Vietnam. Those photos were taken a couple of weeks ago when Thao and I were out in Long An. I auto-posted it to throw my mom off track about me coming home again.
Anyway, I arrived home without incident – no slamming of fingers in taxi doors this time around – and my sister and nephew O picked me up at the airport. We drove down to Thomaston and met up with my brother-in-law and other nephew and niece, and then headed to my mom’s house to try to surprise her again.
It worked perfectly – they were out to dinner when we got home, so we waited for them and then when they got home I hid outside until they had gotten settled in. My mom was opening her Mothers’ Day present from my nephew and niece, so that gave my sister an excuse to get out the video camera. Then I rang the doorbell and my stepdad came and let me in the front door and I walked into the room where my mom was. She freaked out again. We’ve got some video so hopefully we can get it online shortly.
Anyway, I will be here for about 8 days – until next Sunday, when I really am heading for Tibet. I am probably the only human being in history to have gone from HCMC, Vietnam to Lhasa, Tibet via Atlanta, Georgia. The reason I came home is I already had a return leg to the the U.S. from my last trip, and it turned out that I couldn’t transfer the credits to another flight – so I would have lost $900 if I hadn’t used it. So I figured what the hell, it would be a lot of flying but I would head on home for a week or so.
Right now I’m tired, but happy to be home. More later.
Thao and I both got off of work early today and took the bus out to her family’s house in Long An this afternoon. We’re going to spend the weekend out here – it’s the first time I will be spending the night in Long An, so it should be interesting. I think it will also be the first time I will be sleeping on a bamboo mat!
Anyway, here are a few photos from this afternoon:
Making friends with Bao Ngan (almost 1 year old already):
Thao’s mom in the kitchen – note the jugs of snake wine fermenting (or whatever they do) in the right of the photo:
Bao Ngan and Thao’s other niece crashed in the hammock:
Thao’s niece waiting out the rain:
Bao Ngan and her dad (Thao’s brother, Phuc):
The feeding of the Bao Ngan:
Me and my feet having the morning coffee in front of our new living room window:
View from said window:
That little boat moving from left to right is a ferry – it goes back and forth across the river right there all day long and late into the night.
Straight down from the 15th floor:
A couple of poorly-shot night views:
Thao’s punchlist of things to talk to the landlord about. I thought it was sweet that she wrote “Happy New House!” on it:
The building circled in black is my school as seen from our bedroom window. That’s how close we are!
. . . if it is not already: Running on a treadmill for 15 minutes in bare feet will result in blisters of the painful, on-the-bottoms-of-the-toes variety.
That’s all. Carry on.
Just back from the cardiologist. Bottom line: I’m fine. A slightly thick valve that causes the valve not to seal 100% and so releases (or lets in – I’m not sure exactly) a little bit more blood than it should (or something like that), and the cardiologist said that I was born with the thick valve – it’s not something that’s developed over time or is degenerating or whatever. Says the onset of the discomfort a few weeks ago could be caused by a lot of things – stress, diet, etc.
I did the echocariogram – which I have video of and can hopefully post late – and the stress test where I ran on the treadmill for 15 minutes while hooked up to a bunch of electrical whatevers. The doctor said my heart’s regularity actually improves when I’m exercising, and that I had no problem up to the 160bpm I hit while on the treadmill. Basically the only time my heart is irregular is when I’m NOT exercising – so I have no excuse now!
And I’m 100% cleared to go to Tibet! Woo-hoo!
I am to keep taking the medications for three months, but then if I’m not having any further problems, I don’t even need to go back in for a followup.
I’ll try to post some video later. Peace!
Groom drinks too much at wedding, dies
TAIPEI (Reuters) – A Taiwanese groom died on his wedding day after having too much wine and beer to drink, police and local media said Monday.
The man, 35, an insurance company worker surnamed Wu passed out at home after drinking too much Saturday at a high-end restaurant in Taipei among more than 100 wedding guests, the Liberty Times reported.
It was not known if he had health complications.
“Everyone was having a great time,” said restaurant party organizer Linda Chien. “We don’t know what happened after that.”
Wu was hospitalized after his face turned black, the paper said. A hospital spokeswoman said he died despite treatment.