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another chapter down

You’d think I just wouldn’t want to stop writing about our travels in Vietnam, but truth be told […]

Hammock

In the last few days before we left Thanh Hoa last September, I asked Mr. Thanh to help me with some shopping. I really wanted a hammock. They are all over Vietnam, in all sorts of styles. In Hanoi, street vendors try to sell them to the Westerners–“Silk. Very nice. You buy only $20.” I never took them up on the offer because one, I think they were lying about the silk part and two, I wanted the green one with a stand.

the streets of Thanh Hoa

Mr. Thanh drove me on his motorbike from one shop to another, our helmets perched, unbuckled, on our heads. We finally found a shop that carried them and Mr. Thanh asked the price. 250,000 VND. A good chunk of change in those parts. I couldn’t bargain with any grace, so I asked Mr. Thanh if he would ask her to take 150,000 VND. I remember he looked a little worried; they talked back and forth for a bit and he asked if I’d pay 200,000 VND. Of course, I would. So we exchanged cash for hammock and I climbed on to the back of his bike again, holding the hammock to my chest.

“Sorry, Miss Teresa,” he yelled to me.

Catching a Sneak Peek

Since it’s just down the block from their school and I needed to go anyway, I asked the […]

it’s just a number

September is always a difficult month for me. When I was in university, I never had any money until the financial aid check came at the end of the month. Working for the school system isn’t any better; they send checks on the very last day of the month. But of course, the kids’ school needs money for field trips and photos and school supplies–this year alone they are asking for nearly $500 this month.

Our Trio in 2006

There are six birthdays of friends and family that I can’t afford to buy gifts for and both of my kids’ birthdays are barely more than a month away. Add in the bittersweet anniversaries of both the day I struck out on my own with the kids and the day the divorce was final (a year later) and you’ve got a month that adds up to not a whole heckuva lot of fun.

Last year, we managed to enjoy our Trio Anniversary (being in Thailand for most of the month on our way back from Vietnam), but this year the anniversary struck me particularly hard. I tried to fake my way through it, pretend I was happy, but in reality when I say “It’s our eleventh anniversary as a trio!” what I’m really thinking is “Eleven years of being unloved.” Melodramatic? Silly? Sure is.