Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Jack and I are well-protected for our journey back to the U.S. All 32 Khuan (spirit-type things) have been safely returned to our bodies and are being held hostage by the strings on our arms (or something like that). Jack actually only has one left. We took the rest off.

It became a bit emotional with Katherine and Vone. We are truly going to miss her, and not just because she makes the best damn green curry in the world. She has been wonderful to have in our lives.

And we'll miss Tat and his wife Noy, who, besides being funny and interesting and beautiful, has the uncanny ability to make Jack fall asleep almost immediately when she holds him.

And we'll miss John, who will be marrying his fiancee Katrina in December at her parents' home in Kenya. We're hoping to be there for it.

And, of course, we'll miss many other people and things in Laos. All the goodbyes started to make it feel real. Driving home from the office tonight it finally really hit me. Sunday nights the streets are pretty empty, so rather than thinking evil thoughts about all the people driving the wrong way or otherwise doing things that eventually will get them in a bad accident, I started thinking about what a wonderful two years we've had, and about the nature of a foreign service career. At the beginning, at least, your schedule is pretty rigid. Two years and out, regardless of whether we thought staying another year might be fun.

Tomorrow is a last lunch with my consular staff. Tuesday probably a last bowl of the most delicious mee muu (noodle soup with pork) at a local noodle shop. Tuesday night we'll go to the Sunset Bar for one last beer, Sticky Fingers for one, I guess, and L'Opera for one last italian dinner. It was the location of our first meal in Laos, so it is only fitting that it be our last as well.

I guess now is the time for regrets. I'm sure we will have many conversations about what we wish we had done different. But tallying up our two years here, we've been to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. In Laos I've been to 10 provinces and missed five. We've made some good friends and had some great times.

And we are heading home with one very nice souvenir.


At 3:57 AM, Anonymous Shawn said...

That's a great picture of you two. We look forward to meeting you guys in Kyiv, where hopefully you can create some great (albeit chillier) new memories.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the cutest darn picture. You should save the image to put in a picture frame when you get to Kiev, Kyiv, Keev, or Mumbai (however it's spelled this year).


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