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April 2015

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Day 357– March 30, 2015

Today is Greg’s 41th birthday. He’s not much of a shopper, but birthdays can be quite hard and lonely on the road so far away from friends and family. I bought him a little bottle of Fernet digestive liquor and a knit blue penguin because Greg’s hair is blue and …

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Day 356– March 29, 2015

The narrative of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness progresses from the big city up river into increasingly smaller towns and villages to find eventually the animal within. Greg and I fly from the big city Ho Chi Minh, to the small city Dalat, on to the town of Hue, reaching …

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Day 355– March 28, 2015

Greg lies in bed for 16 hours with an upset stomach, or perhaps he has dysentery – perhaps he will die. I am spared similar symptoms either because of my stomach of steel (unlikely), or my early January bout with dysentery form Morocco fortified my stomach against foreign invaders. We …

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Day 354– March 27, 2015

Our day in Hue begins at dawn with patriotic music blasting from the stadium across the street from our hotel. From our top-floor window, we spy costumed dancing, martial exercises, and lots of flags in the rain. The breakfast staff downstairs tells us that today is Hue’s city Independence Day. …

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Day 353– March 26, 2015

I turn 42.5, a momentous occasion for today marks the quarter completion of my forties. Half birthdays may not be as celebratory as full birthdays, but these halves do prompt me to take stock of life. Is this year, this decade heading the way I intend? Will I do all …

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Day 352– March 25, 2015

We’re in the air over coffee plantations hurtling towards coastal Da Nang for three nights in the royal city of Hue. No way! Yes, Hue. Yesterday, Greg and I ate and stumbled through much of Dalat along the city’s “romantic” lake. Outvoting the romance, my digestive system still has not …

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Day 351– March 24, 2015

On a plane out of town, we trade the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City for the countryside of forested Dalat in the southwest highlands of Vietnam. Because of its alpine topography, large lake, and flowering parks, we’re amazed how much Dalat looks like Bavaria. We stick to the German …

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Day 350– March 23, 2015

We fall asleep before 11pm and wake before dawn at 7am. Last night we stumbled back to the hotel past crowded bars full of ex-pats drinking around plastic beer tanks. Although I avoid the lager louts after a day of site-seeing, I lament no longer wanting to push into the …

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Day 349– March 22, 2015

We are here for the food. Our first morning, we prepare for the day with an almond croissant and a decent, but slow coffee. The 9am sun already beats down mercilessly. Over the course of the day, we stuff ourselves with fresh and delightful Vietnamese food, typically a mélange of …