It’s Equinox Time

I’m a great one for fresh starts and new beginnings. The autumnal equinox is today and marks a new beginning. So,it’s a great day to signal the transition to our new life in Saigon. We are finally starting to find our feet here in Saigon. We’re not locals yet. We’re not living “on the economy”, but we are getting our sea legs. We moved into our apartment on Friday. On Saturday we filled two shopping carts at the local supermarket where some gnarly dude piled all the booty into some big plastic crates and delivered it all to our door on his motorbike. We went to the ex-pat’s favorite gourmet store and bought French ham, olives, cheese, crackers, mayonaisse, and dijon. We found a wine shop in our neighborhood with inexpensive Chilean wine and bought 8 bottles, a corkscrew and 4 wine glasses. Marilynn bought a lifetime supply of cleaning stuff and we hired a very competent and attractive cleaning woman who scrubs our tile floor on her knees, washes and irons our clothes, shops for incidentals and buys flowers for our living room. I think we can get used to it, even if it is completely different from the life we have known until now.

This week we’re starting to have a real routine. The alarm goes off at 5:15am and there’s a taxi at the door at 5:45 to take us to the fitness center at the Rex Hotel. It’s a real extravagance but it feels great. The gym is well equipped. The locker rooms are clean, and the pool is on the rooftop and almost 25 meters long. We work out for an hour, shower, get dressed and cross two wide motorbike choked streets to get to one of two fabulous espresso places – the Paris Deli, which has unbelievably good croissants, or Highlands Coffee, the local Starbucks (owned by a Vietnamese-American from Walnut Creek CA). By 8 I’m in another taxi on my way work and Marilynn’s on her way back to the apartment to IM with her assistant who is working on the other side of the world. It’s a life that couldn’t have been imagined 25 years ago. But, here we are.

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