I think I did it. Do you see my smiling Buddha? You have no idea how hard this is for me. I'll ask my new friend for pointers. No reflection on you, my smiling guru Jennifer, who has guided me thus far. You remember Dorothy Parker's use of horticulture in a sentence: "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think." Well, that's me and photography; I can snap a shot, with difficulty, but I have real trouble moving it.
The travellers I meet have done so much, world travellers all, and it really is a case of been-there-done-that. Emphasis on the done. Part of the joy of travel is to have done it, to be able to say "I've done it." I am reminded of the Western journals, the accounts of the wagon trains in western America, one of the most documented events (three major treks) in history, with well over 700 diaries, at last count, reporting on them, especially ones by women. Their diaries were in many cases substitutions for letters home that would never be delivered to loved ones they would never see again. The men's reports, fewer in number, listed miles covered, rivers forded, cattle lost, and so on. The women were less detailed but more realistic. One woman cherished her early morning quiet time, rising with the bread and the sun, until her father-in-law roused the family with "Wakey, wakey" or some such horrible wake-up call.
Today I'm covering miles: an 11 hour excursion, driving to Hanoi, over 100 miles away, and back. No time for my swim this morning. We leave at 7 a.m. I'll be back by 6-6:30, I hope, because Andy Heath, the cruise director, and his assistant, Tammy, who happens to be his wife, have invited my cabin-mate and me to join them for dinner at 7. I hope I can keep my face off the table.
I'm doing a lot today.