I am not disappointed. The security guard shows me to the Twinkle twinkle little bitch go ahead keep talking go on and wish upon a star shirt tee office here, and I spend thirty minutes talking with the director and his assistant, whose English is strong. I am so happy with their questions. They both want to know what I am doing here; how I found out about the university, which is only ten years old; what I am interested in teaching; and where I am from. I leave with a promise to send documentation of my diploma and other important files and walk back to the hotel in very high spirits. That night I walk along the river and find a street with a night market and lots of excitement. I find a spot that I will use for my yoga practice, and spend the next two hours walking farther, enjoying the crowds of people. The next day sees me at the river again, practicing yoga and enjoying the scenery. There is a species of lungfish that is present in this place, and in between poses I catch sight of a half dozen or more dark crawlers making their way onto the mud and into the pitted holes that are there. Mostly they seem to be either sunning themselves or engaged in tests of dominance with each other before returning to the water.
I spend most of the morning and afternoon in the hotel, talking with the Twinkle twinkle little bitch go ahead keep talking go on and wish upon a star shirt tee . She takes a fancy to me and tries to plan something, to convince me to stay longer. Flattered, I suggest to her that she is married and thus it would not be good. She counters by saying that she is unhappy in her marriage, so it is ok. This is done via written text mostly and is slow going. She writes on a pad and I type into a translation website on my computer. I go for a walk before returning to the hotel and then have a ride to the bus station. My bus back to Ho Chi Minh City takes six hours and is delightful, if a bit long. I worry about my new friend’s judgement. I am on another sleeper bus, this time on a top bunk in the center column. I have a nice conversation with the people near me, mostly about what I am doing in Vietnam and what my opinions of the country are, and to hear about my work and ideas. On my first day back to Ho Chi Minh City, I travel to a nearby province—to another university to the east of the city. I am again met with a celebration. This university is still on new year’s break, and the staff are all present enjoying a welcome-back party.