Around the beginning of the second third my attitude started to change. Maybe it was the mere prospect of a vacation. Actually, this probably has a lot to do with it! As I was turning the key in the padlock I had a pleasant thought: I was worried about not having fall, because who doesn’t love the cool air of fall after summer…but then I realized I’m also not going to have winter! No freezing my face off this year ye-ah…
As I was saying, things started to change, not a ton, just a little. I think if definitely has to do with my taking a vacation: the night of September 18th, after a full day of teaching, I will fly to Hanoi in North Vietnam to meet Suzanne Waddell and Louise Moseley, both of whom I have not seen in years, and we are going to check out that city and Halong Bay which I heard is really really amazing…
Suzanne only has six days to party with us before she has to go back to work in Hong Kong, but Louise has until October 6th so I have a nice little trip planned out for us: Hoi An, Cham Island, Nha Trang/Jungle Island and, if we have time, Mui Ne again (I really loved Mui Ne)! She has no idea I’m this organized. The only thing I don’t know is if we will fly from Hanoi or take a night train; it’s a trek but I have a feeling: we like trains.
I am missing my best friend Jenny’s wedding while on this trip I love you Jenny, a lot, and thank you for being my friend all these years, and inviting me anyway, etc. etc. Bawl. She understands.
So. It’s the beginning of my second third, as in three months out of nine, I realize as I am sitting in this park studying Vietnamese which entails me copying down the Vietnamese word and pronunciation for every single food I can eat here (only 2 pgs.!) out of my phrasebook with a hangover (bad headache); bought a big ol’ orange from the market, came home, put 2 bottles of water in the freezer and sit down to write.
Then…the hammering started, but instead of just sitting there letting it piss me off like I would have done in the first third, I put my headphones on listened to loud music get in my own world it is not difficult with good headphones write down some of the best lyrics while organizing poems (I have 2 book projects in the making!!…)
Starting to make the transition to work mode from whatever I want mode my thoughts again turned pleasant: full day off tomorrow (today, Tues.), the all-Vietnam tour, my old friend’s happiness….even the fact that I couldn’t figure out how to work my laundry machine could get me down. Which brings me to…
My Laundry Machine
Because I was too tired last night, Monday, to even think about why it wouldn’t spin, and the water had already emptied out onto my floor twice, my motto for today was eat a live toad first thing in the morning–you know the one–and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day, only with laundry. You should have seen me scooping that water with my dustpan. Good times.
I am laughing about it now but this morning, as I reached for the BIZ POWER again I was just wistfully recalling my $14 lavender Mississippi Market detergent, only half empty, just going FUCKING SPIN, I just keep turning the dial, hit it like the ones at the Loring, nothing. Shake it like the vending machines that make pretzels or Runts or whatever fall, Skittles, nothing.
So, alas, it doesn’t spin, asking the maid is out since she already climbed the four flights of stairs to show me how to turn it on, and because I am already not paying her to wash my seven articles of clothing and all my underwear; turning it off and on again which always works with my computer doesn’t even work so I reach in take out the wet clothes wring them out in the shower hang them by the window and head off to school to read in the free air because it’s getting hot.
When I get home just a few hours later the clothes are already dry because I also put the fan on them, the BIZ actually makes them smell all right! AND there is a postcard from Colin in Greece which is just too cool for words. It is the same colors as my mirror!
So I decide to go get a coconut milk which I understand why people call life juice; it is just a coconut with the top sliced, but it is flat on the bottom so it can just sit there when you’re not drinking it. It lasts so much longer than coffee and I actually think I like it better! Yay for life juice, and I actually said it almost right, nuoc dua, probably not, actually, but I tried AND I got a smile which is sometimes all you can really hope for.