Friday, April 3, 2015

Asia Vacation: Day 9 & 10 / A to Z Challenge

C is for Catharsis.

Days 9 and 10 were my last in Vietnam. As I write this, it's like I'm going through a process of catharsis and saying good-bye to this small sliver of my life that meant so much to me. It just goes to show that time for me isn't measured in days, but in moments. These ten days stuck out more than the past year; not because it's recent, but because I know it'll be top priority in my memory bank.

On Day 9, my aunt and uncle hosted a dinner for us with tons of food, and the main course being bon bo hue. If you haven't had this dish yet, it's a must try! One thing I'll miss is the outdoor eating in Vietnam. It's so casual pulling up tables and chairs on the sidewalk and sharing a meal with neighbors and family. There's such a sense of community there that is lacking in the U.S. I love the noise of conversations in the air and smiles all around. The love and affection that one has for their kin; it's such a wonderful thing.

After dinner we took a stroll to the beach. Oh how I miss those beaches. It was nice to look for shells and chase sand crabs. I can still smell the damp salty air of the evening.

Our last day, Day 10, was very bittersweet. Our flight wasn't until late evening so the day went on like an impending knife over our heads. Our smiles now had a hint of sadness, our laughter less audible, and our eyes more moist. Time seemed to count down with every repressed shudder, as I tried not to think of it as good-bye.

After packing and checking out of the hotel, we had lunch at my grandpa's before heading to the market to buy last minute things. When we returned, my sisters, Michael, and I took my grandpa out for coffee.

My grandpa is the sweetest and gentlest man I know. It's cruel of fate to only give us days together, a blimp in our whole lives really, but I knew it was a necessary sacrifice of my mother's to bring us to the U.S. Yet it still hurts to know that he would only know me as I was during these two visits  and I, him. When he brought up the idea that he may not be alive the next time we visited, it brought me to tears.

The whole extended family would change just as it had in these past six years. It's truly a lesson that one must live and cherish in the moment, because you never know if you'll ever get it again.

When we returned to my grandpa's house. Everyone was there to send us off. We had one last dinner, and then we were off to the airport. A few hours later, we were greeted by Seoul's bitter morning wind.


  1. The thing that always strike me the most when I travel is how much I change. When I come home everything feels so different, but everyone else has stayed the same and I so wish that they had been with me.

    I'm not close to my family like this. If I never saw my cousins again, that would be fine. I feel like I'm never going to see them again anyway. I don't have any grandparents left on that side of the family and everyone is so scattered. It makes me wonder, if you can go all the way to Vietnam to see your family, why can't we drive a few hours to see ours?

    1. I know what you mean by feeling changed, when your surroundings aren't. I get that all the time when I travel.

      Yeah it's different how family dynamics are. I guess in our culture family is like the epicenter of our lives.

  2. Gorgeous family photo! It's a great (and large) feeling to have such a group drop one off at the airport. You must have felt like a super star ;) And your grandfather seems amazing. Glad you got at least that day with him.

    1. Thank you! It was a great feeling! I miss them so much!

  3. What a beautiful post! I am so glad you had the opportunity to visit your family in Vietnam, and I am so glad Michael got to meet such a wonderful group of people. You have a wonderful family!