|Thanks to Mark Stennett at Drift Photography for this wicked shot of Nick and I. Damn this crazy town. We will miss you so.......|
Monday, June 24, 2013
Putting an end to the Madness
OK. It kind of goes without saying that this is a difficult post to write. After three and a half years, it’s time to put an end to the madness. The Mekong Moggys Madness that is. As we draw closer and closer to that looming departure date it’s time to wrap things up, put a bow on it and pop it on the cyber shelf in preparation for the next chapter of our lives.
I initially started this blog as a way to share our experiences here in Vietnam with family and friends back home. I then realized that what I was actually doing was a diary of sorts. Something that I could keep forever and reminisce over. It has always been more of a photo journal than anything. I am not a photographer, I’m not a writer or author and I am certainly not a social commentator. The Madness is just purely a little about what it’s like to live in Vietnam, especially with kids, from my perspective. Much to my surprise other people seemed to find it useful as well so with that in mind I added a few things that might be helpful for anyone coming to visit or thinking of living here.
The last few weeks have been akin to ripping a band-aid off 1 millimeter at a time. I’m going to try not to fill this final post with clichés but it’s been a fascinating transition for me personally, re-training myself for the “real” world. I am notoriously awful at goodbyes. I try to avoid them at any cost. I have found myself going out less and less in order to avoid seeing the amazing Vietnamese people I usually interact with every day, so I don’t have to tell them I’m going. The Banh Mi lady, my Xe Om driver, the old Orange Juice lady. Instead I find myself slowly reintroducing myself to Australia. Reading Australian newspapers online, listening to Aussie radio, trolling the Internet for items we will need to buy upon our return. In essence, I have mentally checked out already. And you know what? It’s ok. I feel ready. I feel excited. I am nervous but looking forward to the next step.
Looking back, what an adventure it has been. I’m not going to attempt to sum it up in a paragraph suffice to say that the 4 of us are leaving very different people than the 4 who arrived in early 2010. Wonderful memories, incredible opportunities and renewed perspectives on life and the people in it.
I want to say a great big thank you to anyone that has taken the time to read my ramblings, especially those who made the extra effort to comment. You kept me going when I usually suspected I was writing to myself. To all of our fabulous friends and work colleagues, thank you for making our time here one we will never forget. Thank you to the most amazing husband for sharing the journey with me and the 2 of the most awesome kids I know for being so incredibly brave, adaptable and trusting when your parents plonked you in strange country and said “right, this is home now”. I am so proud of you and you set fine examples of what being a global citizen is about.
To Vietnam, what can I say? Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart. You have enriched me, frustrated me, overwhelmed me and educated me. The changes I have seen in you over the last few years have been huge. Some for the better, some….not so much. But you are brave and determined and your future is bright. You will always hold a very special place in my heart.
Hen Gap Lai.