Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Heading out...

(PICTURE: That bag weighs more than Huyen.)

In preparation for our week at Huyen's house, we had a lot to pack. Besides a week's worth of clothing, we had a ton of food and gifts to bring home. In no particle order, we had: wine, liquor, ten grapefruits (I had eaten more than a few the week before), candy and Sri Lankan tea. The total weight of the bag ended up being just about the same as Huyen.

On the morning that we left, about 75% of Hanoi was migrating out of town and back towards their family's hometown -- or as Vietnamese always say, "My countryside." Huyen and I took to the traffic very slowly since our bike was completed weighed down. I had offered to sit on the back with the bag on my shoulders but Huyen preferred being the passenger. However at some point Huyen started to yell at me on the highway. Between my sweater hood, helmet and traffic noise, I couldn't hear her. Finally I got the message (I couldn't ignore her hitting my shoulder) that her shoulder blades were about to break. We pulled off the highway into the shoulder and readjusted the bag. I ended up driving with my knees basically touching my chin so that the bag could rest on the space behind Huyen. The trip home took us about two hours which is nearly double the usual time it takes. But we got there safe and sound -- with the grapefruits in tact -- which is the most important thing.