Saturday, April 2, 2011


(PICTURE: I think I drank this at the cafe this morning.)

For the first time in I honestly can't remember how long, I nearly blew my top today. Seriously, I felt like I was going insane/having a panic attack/about to rip someone's head off. I literally started shaking a garage door (mine) in anger. Let me try and explain:

The other day I wanted to exit my house but was surprised to find the front garage door was locked and the security guard gone. My first thought was that this was annoying because I was trapped inside. My second thought was - I'M TRAPPED INSIDE!!! THIS IS A SCARY FIRE HAZARD!!! I complained to Huyen (I hate having to do this as much as I hate the fact that I suck at Vietnamese) and she complained to the building. I kid you not, the building manager said that if there was a fire we should hide in the cabinets in the lobby. The wooden cabinets.

When we found this temporary apartment we were told that someone would be at the front desk 24/7. Clearly that wasn't the case that night. Well, it's quickly become obvious that that's not the case all the time. Last night when I came home from work the door was closed and locked again. I called the front desk and nobody was there. About ten minutes later the door person came walking down the street and opened the door. Then this morning I wanted to leave the house at 6:30AM to go to the gym. Again, nobody was at the front desk and I had to wait ten minutes for the door to be opened. Not only is this a fire hazard and annoying but ninety percent of Vietnam is up at 6:30AM, just not the guy who is paid to be up and guarding/opening the front door. However, the final straw that broke my back came today. You see, I had a Skype call with someone in America and because the internet in our building doesn't work (also annoying) I had to go to a nearby cafe. When the call ended, I went home and had to wait 40 MINUTES for someone to open the front door. I called Huyen about five times because the person whose number I have doesn't speak English and kept saying "five minutes" in response to my "open the fucking door!". When the girl finally came, I angrily said, "You can't leave the front desk. It's your job to be here and now you've made me forty minutes late to where I have to go!". Of course she couldn't understand a word and couldn't look sorrier which made me feel like shit for being angry at her. Then, as if I I couldn't feel worse, Huyen called me and said that the girl unexpectedly had her period and had to run home to change clothes (seriously, does that really even happen outside of Stephen King books?). So yeah, now I felt even worse for making a girl feel bad when she's already feeling horrible.

Maybe you think I over reacted. Hell, I think I sort of over know, except for the part about being locked out of my own apartment three times in nearly twelve hours. That said, I rarely get angry and I never rage. That's not my personality. I think in the end I was more upset at myself for getting upset than actually being upset...if that makes sense.

I did some soul searching over a caramel frappuccino (Highland coffee, not Starbucks which we don't have in Hanoi) and came to this conclusion: I'm feeling a lot of anxiety about leaving Vietnam. Last night Huyen and I bought our ONE WAY tickets out of Hanoi which I'm sure played a part in triggering this incident. Yes, I'm excited about going home. But at the same time, I've had an amazing run here and there's a lot of question marks in my near future. I have no doubt that Huyen and I will be happy in America but, well, it's just hard to leave Vietnam.

Okay, writing this entry has made me feel better. I knew this blog was good for something...

NOTE: I'm happy to report that this entry was written three weeks ago and I've had no signs of any rage since. That might have to do with there always being a person at the front desk now and the fact that management gave me a 3G plug in for my computer since the internet sucks here and they had specifically told me that it was good when we were thinking of moving in.