By Dan | June 26, 2007
Yesterday we finished up by going to the Visa interview, which wasn’t bad. We didn’t wait long, and it wasn’t as far away as we believed. Simple interview, friendly Consulate staff member. We mostly verbally confirmed most of the info on the Visa application, signed it, and went over the medical results to ensure that we knew that the doctor had indicated a “lung infection.” (That’s common terminology for a cold here.) She said it was not categorized highly enough to prevent travel, but to make sure it was treated when we got home. (Like we needed to be told that! Not that she new the history of our trip…)
Went to the lobby and kids were being good after the trip, so Shannon and I split a cheesecake type thing out of the lobby bakery case. Was really good.
Came upstairs and the boys had no interested in napping. They played (Thanh somewhat rambunctiously) for several hours before finally falling asleep, but it was early evening before they did so. Once they were asleep, we had discussed rotating for a massage at the hotel. A 30 minute massage only cost 10USD, so it’s quite a bargain and quite an experience. (My back was getting very sore from all the pacing with one or the other little monkey squirming in my arms over the previous nights.) I started, and it was a very interesting experience. Starts as a typical massage in the US, but eventually she was kneeling on the table to get the appropriate leverage to really dig in. I had wondered if it would include the standing part you see in Japanese massage photos as there were bars installed on the ceiling, but she worked in deeply and then smoothly less intensely, and the moved on to arms and legs. Once she had finished everything else, she agily jumped up on the table and was standing on my back. After asking to make sure I was OK, she was practically jumping on my back, moving very accurately to places that would be well supported and precisely providing the right pressure (probably by supporting herself somewhat on the bars). She cracked almost every vertebrae up my back. By now I was starting to get a headache (probably because of all of the junk she was releasing from my muscles), but then she worked on my neck and scalp (with her hands, not her feet) which helped that as well, working very specific facial muscles and contact point on my head. That was not very relaxing either, as she was pounding on my skull in several areas at one point. Overall, the massage left me very relaxed, but actually pretty sore. We will see how I feel in days to come. I told Shannon that while it was an interesting experience it probably wasn’t for her.
Then we went to the traditional Vietnamese buffet for dinner. Also an interesting experience. The food is probably best described as a lot of Chinese type methods, with Indian influences for spicing and herbs. I have to be careful eating Indian, as I don’t care for very herby tasting food, and Vietnamese is not different in that regard. So I have been burping up all sorts of unpleasant after flavors all night. They also had traditional Vietnamese musicians last night, who were dressed in traditional garb. Very beautiful costumes, and the instruments were very interesting as well. I’ll have to do some research and write more later.
Unfortunately, last night was a severe regression in sleeping habits for Vinh, and Thanh was a bit restless as well. For the first several hours, he was pulling his “I don’t want to be held, but don’t put me down” routine, then after a while he was at least to the “carry me only” routine. We managed to get him to sleep for a total of an hour I think. Thanh at least slept more or less normally, other than it was only 45-60 minute intervals. The best theory that I can come up with is that they are not adapting as well as we thought over the last couple days, but were so overtired that with the medications it didn’t matter until now, when they are caught up a bit on sleep. Sun came up with both kids already awake, and once it was they finally calmed down and played. At 5:30 we figured we might as well catch an early breakfast, so I jumped in the shower. By the time I got out both kids were almost asleep on the bed, so we joined them in a pile of limbs instead. Now both are at least semi awake and calm, although Thanh just rolled over and saw the laptop, so I doubt I have much time left.
We leave today. (Well, tomorrow at 1:30 am.) Plan is to try to tire the kids out as much as possible today I think, especially because we have a lot that we want to do before we go. Anna highly recommended seeing a lake park nearby, and there is another shopping center in the same area to finish souvenir shopping. Plus packing, although that shouldn’t be so bad regardless of the boys’ dispositions, as only the carry-on bags need to be in any semblance of order for the return home. We have agreed that all clothing will get washed, whether clean or not, to reduce the chance of bringing any bugs home (especially scabies). I think Shannon and I will probably shower and both use the cream in Korea assuming we use the transit hotel (which we are planning to) for the same reason. We will see.
Alright, Thanh is trying to tell me to stop typing, as he has been chasing me around the bed. (Every time he catches up I move to a new corner.) I’m guessing I won’t be able to write again until Korea.
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