Cliché, yes, but true nonetheless, time does pass by so very quickly. I’ve only 8 weeks left to go! I continue to enjoy my work with PATH and the camaraderie with my colleagues here, and I revel in the fact that I am learning every day, especially about myself.
So what have I learned about myself? Some of it is more of a confirmation of things that I really already knew. For instance, I am, and shall remain evermore, a small town boy. Yes, I am resilient enough to survive this booming metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City for this six-month period, but it does “smother” me. I didn’t realize how adversely it had affected me until I took the opportunity to visit Siem Reap, Cambodia. If you’ve never been there, mark it as a bucket list item. The temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom (pictured) are awe inspiring, and, I appreciated them all the more, as my guide hated crowds as much as I, so we dealt very little with people. Yes, I could breathe easier. I felt stress leave me, and I firmly believe my blood pressure fell several points. This same sensation replicated itself when I spent a few days in Hoi An, Vietnam (pictured). Exploring the countryside is much more to my liking than burrowing through masses of people in cities. So, in the words of John Cougar Mellenkamp:
“Got nothing against a big town.
Still hayseed enough to say, ‘Look who’s in the big town’
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that’s good enough for me.”
Another thing? I’ve found that I love regimentation and routine, which might surprise some of you since I’ve been in sales for 28 years. Yes, I enjoy my morning routine, my walk to the office via the same route each day, the set office hours, and the walk home. I’ve an evening routine as well that I adhere to, which has rekindled my joy of reading and my disdain for news and television in general. I feel that I have created a habit of fueling my mind with positivity which I need to carry forward when I return home. With this I am well pleased, but not horribly shocked to discover about myself.
My abhorrence of feet, on the other hand (if you will), has caught me a bit off guard. Sandals are a way of life here. I get that. It’s a cultural thing, even the tourists and ex pats shed their brogues. People can’t fully be blamed for the appearance of their feet. After all, feet take a beating day in and day out. Mine are beat all to Hades. I don’t want to subject anyone to them anymore than I want to be subjected to theirs. Gnarled toes, fungus infected nails, corns, bunions, and any other ailments of the foot, and even “pretty” feet just flat out give me the willies. Don’t know why. They just do, and I’ve seen some of the nastiest feet in the world, from all over the globe, here. I’m shuddering as I type this. Ugh! I’ll never be accused of having a foot fetish, that’s for certain.
To be sure though, I have experienced great growth personally and spiritually during my time here, but that’s a private matter, and we’ll leave it there. Although, I will leave you with a quote that sheds a wee bit of light on my self-discoveries.
“You can never have too many books or too many hugs.”
― Gina House