A Friend

A friend wrote me the other day saying he was worried because I had not posted anything here in some time.  I explained that we are in Italy and won’t return to HCMC until October 11.  It was really nice of him to write and to be concerned, and since I know he reads this, I’ll say, again, Thanks R!

Traveling with my wife is always a pleasure.  She eases the pain of what is becoming too much for me, and although we are planning a Canada/USA visit next year to celebrate my much loved cousin’s 85th Birthday, I am ready to fold up my magic carpet and confine my travels to SE Asia–short trips close to home.  It is had to say I am ‘burned out’, but I am.  This trip was very difficult, even with KL’s help, and walking for 5 to 7 hours every day is just not within my ability or desire.

 I have seen most of what I wanted to see in the world, and the internet and TV can show me the rest.  Like my dear friend in Florence (who is 82 and walked us into the ground!) said, “I don’t want to travel any more.  I am content to live a life of peace and comfort in our HCMC condo, watching TV, going out to eat with my wife, and reading.  I won’t, can’t, & refuse to give up my books, and although I am trying to get used to reading E Books, I still like the feel of a page turner in my hand.

That said, I am home alone in a hotel in Rome while my adventurous, brave wife took off to revisit the ground level of the Imperial Forum for MORE PICTURES!  The great thing about this trip is that for the first time she understands and appreciates what she is seeing, and likes it!  Before, she just wanted to go visit places to take photos to show friends where she was.  Don’t misunderstand–she was not bragging, showing friends your trip photos is the true Vietnamese National Pastime and everyone everywhere does it.  I think some people even photograph their bathrooms to show where they went that morning. Kim’s understanding of Pompei, her grasp of the beautiful art of Florence, and her amazement at the beauty of Venice and Rome, and Bologna too have been very rewarding for me.  The look on her face when we came out of the train station in Venice and she saw the canal with ancient domed buildings on the other side was an inspiration!  THAT alone made the whole trip worthwhile!

We have one more day in Rome and then we are off to Istanbul for 3 days.  We are both tired and want to get home, but I know she will love Istanbul and find it tremendously exciting.  I haven’t been there for 50 years, but I’m also looking forward to this city on two continents.

I’ll write again after we return to VN.  My wife is already planning a trip to Korea with either her mother or her sisters.  I will stay home and recuperate from this adventure.




3 thoughts on “A Friend

  1. Nice post, gratifying comments about KL appreciating what she sees (some envy on my part, especially for the food which, curiously, you don’t mention) and complete empathy with the stay (and learn) at home part. Hope we get to see you next year!

    Know what makes books better than ebooks? When you stick your finger between pages to walk from room to room, it’s still on the same page! (I prefer books on my iPad, but I’m in a 1900+ pager by Stephen King, and if I don’t remember to bookmark where I am, it can take 5 minutes to get back there!)


    Allen Kelson allenkelson@gmail.com Home: 847.818.1845 Mobile: 847.710.0301 Fax: 847.620.2078

    PS: Do you have any notion why Muskal won’t respond after I’ve sent him three emails? Or is that just his nature?

    • A few other things FOR printed books:

      Reading in bed can be hazardous to your bedmate when you fall asleep & drop an iPad on her!

      Hit the margin wrong & you turn 50 pages.

      Enlarge the print too much and you need to turn the page every four seconds,

      I just almost dropped my iPad in the throne room. The ceramic floor is not forgiving

      Putting an iPad out of harms way while you wash your hands is difficult at best.

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