10 June 2014

I'm ba-ack...

Note: This was originally posted on May 24th. I made one small edit on June 10th and the software changed the date to the 10th. Sorry for any confusion.

It's been a few days since I arrived back in Ho Chi Minh, and in a few ways, it feels like I've been gone only a few days. The goal of this trip is to take my first looks at possible neighborhoods in which to live. So far, I'm hanging out in District 1; will move to 7 this weekend before taking a week or so in Da Lat and possibly Hà Nội.

One warning to those who've not seen me since I left in November 2013 for my first trip... either I am now a full inch shorter than I was when I left, or my new doctors all have their height measuring devices set an inch too low. 

For 45 years, I've been 6' 2" tall. Now they're telling me that I'm 6' 1/2". Could it me a result of the L1 compression fracture? I still feel tall... though I'm sure Napoleon did, too.

This afternoon (Saturday) I was wandering the streets in search of a late lunch and took a shortcut through one of the many parks. As I entered the park, a couple of young students (late teens, early 20's?) approached me and asked if I would take a little time to speak with them in English because they are Vietnamese students learning English.

I agreed, though I did warn them that I was very hungry and only had a few minutes. They were a very engaging group and almost 2 hours later, I was still there. The format was, basically, that they asked me questions and I responded. I also got to ask them a few questions and it was a great experience. I think I enjoyed it as much and got as much out of it as they did. 

As I pleaded great hunger and made my excuses to leave, they asked if I would pose with them for a group photo. I agreed on the condition that their photographer also take a couple photos with my phone also.

The scarf that I am wearing in the photo was a gift from them for taking the time to speak with them… a wonderful gesture, and I will treasure it!

I know a few of them took my blog address and if any of you are reading this, thank you again for the wonderful experience. I hope to see you again during my stay in Ho Chi Minh.

I LOVE this country!


  1. Nice story, John. I went out to your blog yesterday and since I didn't see anything, I thought I had the wrong address. Anyway, have a great time and we'll see you when you get back.

  2. I was the girl stading right next to you in these pictures. Thank you for what you shared with us. i knew that you love my country because i felt the sincerity in your eyes when you talked about vietnam. I hope to see you again.

  3. thank you for what you shared with us. i will never forget you, one loves my country very much. i sure about that because i cuold feel the sincerity in your eyes when you talked about Vietnam and i also thank you for that. welcome you come to Vietnam and i hope to see you again