The last few days have been filled with realizations... It's been a month since I've moved into my apartment. Just like that, it snuck up on me. I packed up my things just as quickly as I unpacked them. My lease was only for a month, which is actually perfect because my Aunt Pattie is coming to visit and as we found out with my last visitor you need a special visa to be able to stay with me.
Of course I realized I was finished at 328 two days before I had to move out. I'm not sure that was enough time. Either way, I made sure to soak it all in, the cooking, the cards, the tailor shop next door, the rice wine, the laundry, and of course all of the laughs that go with it.
I woke up and found Ha working away like usual. She was shocked to see me. Dan's visa prevents him from staying with me, but it doesnt prevent me from staying with him. She cant understand why I stay at 328 and he stays in a hotel. For the tenth time, I explained that we were still happy, I just wanted to sleep in my palace.
After her motherly "you should do this/that" talk she let me pull up a seat and help her with the rice wine. Everyday they cook a 5 gallon bucket of rice that has to be broken up into each little particle. Usually I skip out on it, but with only 2 days left I couldnt pass it up. We sat there and giggled while the ladies in the tailor shop next door peeked their heads around the corner wondering what was so giggle worthy. They joined in on the conversation. 5 of us sitting and giggling, about what, I'm not too sure, but I was lovin it!
Dan pulled up as to what he would call girls "skwakin". They giggled some more and amused Dan while I got ready. As I was coming down the stairs they all gasped. I was too "black". They insisted I go put on long sleeves to hide my skin from the sun. Yeah right! We settled on a hat, A moldy chettah hat to be exact. I wore it with pride.
After a stroll through the markets in my stylin chettah hat, another realization hit me. I'm heading to Hanoi tomorrow and I have no clean clothes. Back to Ha's I went leaving Dan to stroll away in the old town. As I pull into Ha's she says, "laundry", almost like she could read my mind. I'm sure she saw all the filthy clothes I've been wearing. So I started scrubbing. All the ladies came over to see me. Of course I wasnt doing it right, like always. They tried to give me pointers, they told me to scrub harder, soak longer, repeat repeat repeat!!! Once again Dan pulls in to see them giggling away. This time I knew what it was about, Me!! Dan wowed them with his muscles, ringing out my clothes. Then we parked our bums in little plastic chairs and just watched the time go by.
Realizing we were late to meet Thuey and Thang for an afternoon of fun. Dan and I said bye to Ha and the girls and headed out on our bikes. We had another great night with them, once again ending early because that's what the vietnamese do. We cycled back to Ha's just in time to catch an evening game of cards. What a perfect day!
The next morning I spent laying around Ha's trying to soak it all up. Ha was chatting away as usual but she through in a few hand gestures that caught my attention. I asked her to repeat what she said. Something not lost in translation, for once. She explained that everyone is going to be sad to see me go. Realizing how fortunate I've been, I explained to her that I'd miss them all too, more then they'll probably ever know.