24 May 2010

Good Morning, Vietnam

I miss the sensation of getting rocked to sleep by waves –and waking up in a place I’ve never been. From the inside of the large cruiser, the waves were usually so mild, and combined with the sound of gentle splashes against the side of my small porthole window as it filled with scenes of water and then starry sky, they soothed me to slumber that I didn’t know possible. On those nights when I could only see water and sky around me, the ship felt small. And then it would pull into port and rest aside vessels of similar caliber, and it felt a little more significant. And then the ship drifted from the ocean and squeezed into a river with walls of lush vegetation immediately surrounding it. Folks along at the riverside with rolled up pants looked wide-eyed at the immense transportation slowly passing by. And then the ship felt massive. I was more than aware of its presence that first morning in Vietnam. In the next week I would become painfully aware of my own presence as well.

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