Saturday, 13 September 2008


Originally uploaded by Scratchin Dog.
The Asian Canine Flu has got hold of me. Scratchindog is going down and I don't know where the spiral will end. Hot, hot fevers. Chills as I clutch blankie around me and call out deliriously for nursie. Every movement is an effort - only the walk the to the bathroom seems urgent enough to move me. And yet, and yet, with the exhaustion and tiredness sleep evades me.

5am I sit in front of the computer looking at the news - smoking half a cigarette (down to 3 a day) - drinking a wee scotch to ward of the germs. My mind a heaving festering jumble of thoughts and emails to be posted, failed quotes to negotiate, of trips coming up. Hurricane Ike is about to slam into Houston and people are ignoring compulsory evacuation orders. Do they think god will save them? Do they think their houses will be burgled by scuba wearing underwater thieves? It seems a harsh way to raise the general educational level by letting the most stupid die. Is 'compulsory' too big a word - and why are they not forced out? A disaster about to happen.

It is almost a week since I returned from Laos to attend the lavish and extremely fun wedding reception of Hanh and Steve. One of the highlights of Hanoi social life for the year. Alcohol rained down from on high, children hacked ice swans to pieces, men wrestled on the floor, there was food, dancing and a fine array of eclectic fashions. Sunday was a quiet day among the ex-pats in Hanoi. Mumbled thanks to gods unnamed that the last weekend of organized liver damage was done and life could return to normal levels of inebriation. And so they have.

The week since has been spent trying to become a real citizen of Hanoi - which means having a bank account here so I can stop being financially raped by my bank in Australia. My future landlady (for I move in a couple of weeks now) only accepts crisp $100 US notes. It's OK for some isn't it? And don't kid yourself, I have seen the US and Vietnamese Dong notes rejected for being too crumpled, or god-forbid, having a small tear in them. Their is a belief that these minor blemishes render the money not worth the paper its printed on. Which for the lower denominations of Dong is probably true.

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