01 April 2006


I saw the sunrise from my apartment today for the first time. My place faces due west and the sun’s journey across the heavens is just out of my buildings peripheral range. I had been hoping for this since the day I moved in, exactly six months ago. It would seem that this is to be an auspicious day to travel.

There is still another six hours before I have to get a taxi for the airport and I am in my usual, pre-travel, stress-state. I have organized all my clothing into days and just hope the layers of tropical togs will suffice for the chill mountain air. I really do need gloves but think I should be able to pick up a pair when I arrive. After I had laid out the outfits I realized that I’d only packed for the walking part of the trip and had nothing to wear in the evening should I need to look cute. It had happened to me in Cambodia; in the cool evenings and mornings I looked like a street person with layers of mismatched, ill-fitting items, thrown on in an attempt to keep warm, with no thought towards fashion. Remembering that, I threw in a few garments that may or may not make me look respectable. That aging hippie look is not an attractive one.

Although I am not looking forward to freezing, clean air will be a welcome change. The sighting of the morning sun only slightly made up for the thick smoke that is now permeating HCMC. Someone, somewhere, is burning the jungle.

I need to make one more trip to the supermarket, cram all my things in my bag, and I will be ready to go.