Man, I had a good early-to-bed, early-to-rise thing going on back at home. Granted, I was getting up early because I had to leave the house at a the crack of dawn in order to drive very far to get to work (flashes from another life: did I really own a manual Saturn SUV? seems like a dream I had...) which I hated. And sometimes I desperately wanted to be 'cool' and stay up late with the kiddies in our dorm, but mainly, I was happy to be the well rested one (wasn't I?). Here in Saigon it seems to be the opposite. I think I went to bed before midnight once this week, and it was a struggle, cause no one else went to bed that early and I missed some fun hang out time. So this morning I feel like a crackhead, again, because seriously my body is not used to going to bed so late. Sometimes it even revolts and makes me fall asleep on people's couches, floors, etc. Oh well.
Last night's excuse to stay up way too late for a weekday was Michael's housewarming party.. but since it was just our usual crew who showed up we decided it was a house thawing party, and that we could wait till later (like say a weekend) to get enough people there to sufficiently warm it. It was definitely quality over quantity though, and the four of us had a really comfy time wandering what is becoming a well-known street for us; stopping for dinner at the alleyway pho joint where the people recognize us, going into the bakery and making a beeline for what we already know are our favorite treats, heading down to the one little shop at the night market that sells M&Ms, wine, butter cookies, etc. Then we went back to M's place and admired the decorations we had bought him for his painfully bare bachelor pad: a lamp, some candles, some wine glasses, etc., all hunted down by us girls in the city earlier in the day.
Saigon is starting to feel like [dare I say it?] home. These friends are starting to feel like ones I've had for a long while. And here's the weird thing:
I don't know how I feel about this getting comfy thing. I was pretty used to the feeling of all new, all the time. But now I have things/people that are special. I have responsibilities and a schedule. Which means that my roots are starting to grow. Which means that when it's time to go, I know exactly where I'll feel it when I have to pull them up. This is the nature of life, yes? You walk around making connections with things, places, people, atmospheres, and lord knows you make connection with the various flora, fauna, and bacteria. So the places actually get into you. You start to become them and they are hence changed forever by you, however insignificantly. These are the things I think about at 7:22am, SEA time.
So before I met this crew, I had started fledgling friendships with other people in town, and now I feel like it's time to to that again. I met some nice Vietnamese students on the bus who I've been emailing back and forth with- they want to take me on a picnic. Also, tonight I'm going salsa dancing tonight just to feel like a dancer again and maybe I'll meet some non-sketchy expats who want to hang out and do cool things with me. Saturday night I'm finally taking Mel's offer to hang out with the girls (not sure who or what that means, but my friend Kim will probably be there, and I haven't seen her in weeks).
OH! Check it out: I got an assistant-ship at Saigon Yoga! I'm working three mornings a week, helping to sign people in and making sure the cash drawer is balanced, and in return I get to do yoga three times a week for free. The place is beautiful and serene and not quite as homey as Nicky's place but since my schedule makes it impossible to go to Nicky's at night anymore, I'm happy to have found it. The staff and teachers are great. They have stickers and I put one on my bike! That's the best part, I think: that I can bike there. I never feel more confident than when I am in control of my own transportation. Some expats like to have cars and drivers, some rely on taxis, but I really really dig my bicycle. Probably cause there's no hills here, I can peddle forever! Plus I just found out that it costs 500d ($.03) to get air put in your tires-- that's right, I don't even have to own my own pump! The way it works is if you see a street corner with a brightly decorated tire leaning against the street sign/lamp post/resident small child, they have an air machine and you can just pull over and point at the tire, and they'll hook you up. Brilliant.
This morning I'm going to a meeting of the ILV (international ladies of Vietnam) for networking and my first cup of coffee on Asian soil. I'm not a coffee drinker (I have friends family and loved ones who are so good at being coffee drinkers, I just don't feel the need to compete) but this morning, it just might be a good thing. I'm off to iron my only skirt. Cause I'm a la-la-lady.