24 December – The Pep-talk
Head buried in pillows on the couch, I peek out of the blankets…Vietnam in two
days…VIETNAM IN TWO DAYS! My heart is racing, pulsing against the couch cushion, search warrant sent out to my mind’s thoughts: large reward for finding the synapse gang responsible for booking this trip.
I close my eyes again. “Brittany, sleep. This is supposed to be a peaceful nap.”
BING! My eyelids fly open again, to-do lists flashing across my retinas. And Christmas? Is it really Christmas?! Okay, on your feet! Get up and get going! We’ve been down Pity-Me Alley one too many times. It was a lovely morning and you are going to Vietnam! Luxus Pur! Up and get going! Freezing isn’t going to make those lists any shorter!
25 December – Day Zero is Here
Phew…made it on the train and what a night! Last night I fell asleep with a sharp pain and vivid dreams of throbbing ribs poking out of my side. What if something is broken?
Flash back two days – I hop on my bike and go for an evening grocery run, take an unexpected turn, see stairs, earth, metal and my face hitting the ground. Thank you helmet! And now two days later I look like a black-eyed, hobbling raccoon.
I am awake. iPad blue illuminates my squinting face…time for internet self-diagnosis: ice it. I shuffle out of bed, open the refrigerator, one eye still squinting, the other taking on the sleep shift. Hmm…what to use without a freezer…options are limited to a bottle of wine and veggie burger patties. I grab them and crawl back in bed, laughing at the image this creates as I rest my side around the bottle of wine and slap veggie burgers across my chest. Merry Christmas you goofy wino.
26 December – Survival and Arrival
Hanoi – The city is buzzing, but I ironically feel relaxed. After three-days of pounding adrenaline I am finally here; travels and turbulence are over. The buildings tower high and narrow into the sky, yet most of life is squatting a few feet above the ground or saddled upon a moped. I climb into a rickshaw and my grinning driver steers us into the row of others, weaving towards the pulsing city.