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Deep-sea diving for rookies

August 31, 2010

The other night Jonathan, Jamie, and I went to a Vietnamese restaurant here in Atlanta. It’s called Pho #1. I’ve had pho once before while visiting Christine in Concord, but knowing you’ll be in the land of pho in less than two weeks makes you pay a little bit more attention.

As we sat there and tried to understand the waiter, tried to figure out what all the greenery they brought us was and whether we were supposed to eat all of it (is mint a garnish in pho or part of the soup?) I began to feel like someone who had just signed up for a deep-sea expedition and never been deeper than their knees in water. The person on the space ship to the moon who has never been on a plane. Unprepared. Nervous. Overwhelmed.

Then today, as I sat in Taco Bell (I don’t think they have it in Vietnam) reading my newly acquired Vietnamese phrasebook, the feeling returned. How can there be six meanings for one word, only differentiated by the tonality of the word? I’m going to be ordering someone’s grandmother served with a side of apartment.

I have been having a lot of weird dreams lately. This is due partially to the madness of my life – which includes a terrible diet and odd hours – and partially to my dna. As I drifted between sleep and wakefulness on Saturday morning I thought “I had the strangest dream that I was moving to Vietnam – and who moves to Vietnam??” The thought startled me completely awake and I realized it was true. Jonathan and I move to Vietnam.

In spite of my trepidation I am happy about it. I don’t think I will really be able to be excited until we have moved out of this apartment, I have flown my last trip, and we have said our last sad goodbyes. Once again, there is no adventure without pain.

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