My last day. We buy our last souvenirs, a stack of colorful dust masks motorscooter drivers wear in Vietnam. These masks shall make useful and fashionable gifts at Burning Man. We eat a last leisurely lunch at a cheap vegetarian restaurant. I shall miss bun.
We drop off bags at the airport. Together, we have 500,000 Vietnamese Dong (~$25) remaining to spend. We jet three hours over Taipei and 11 hours further to San Francisco. I am glad to be home.
Vietnam ends with my year of wandering. Due to the marked change in climate, language, and temperament from San Francisco, the two-week trip felt like months away. Although we toured the grand dame of ruined civilizations at Angkor Wat, this trip was much more about the present of the next meal for there was much to eat at so little cost.
Nobody got hurt, although Greg got gastrically sick for a day. Nothing got stolen, although my ATM card may have been skimmed (again). Nothing got argued, although Greg’s prudence prevailed over my rash charging.
I’ll remember racing through Ho Chi Minh City on the back of a moped, shelling a bowl of disgusting shrimp in a Hoi Ann kitchen, sitting with a charmed bowl of bun with barbecue chicken by a river in sight of the Hue citadel, poking abot the enigmatic smiling stone faces of Bayon temple at Angkor, and drinking beer with Greg in Hue for $1.50