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Monday, January 7, 2013

My Life in Vietnam part 7: Pre-Exodus, Arranged Chaos


Hanging out with my new friend, Ly, was fun. Actually, it was 2 parts Fear and Loathing in Saigon, One part Carnivale, one part Fast and Furious, and one part Angel Heart.  I suck at references.

There are a lot of sides to my personality. I say yes to almost anything, I like to help/fix things, I am irresponsible at times, I live for adventure and the unknown. Ly was all of these things. Saigon has no shortage of beautiful women. Ly was not exactly beautiful. She had charm, charisma and a winning smile, but I would not call her beautiful. Maybe pretty on a good day. More than anything, she was normal. I like normal.

Without going into much detail, I should have realized something wasn't right. She would always ask me about the time I was leaving for work, or when I planned to fly to the USA, or what district I was working in on a certain day. For the most part I just thought it was small talk to help her improve her English. Then I started "almost having accidents" on the way to and from work. People would suddenly stop infront of my motorbike. One morning after being out all night with Ly, someone stopped in front of my motorbike on Cong Quyen. I squeezed my brakes and slid to the ground without making contact with her, but barely. Even though it was sudden, I could see it happening. 

She pulled up on my right side on her motorbike. There was plenty of room behind me. Just as her rear tire was in line with my front tire, she looked back in her left rearview mirror, made eye contact with me for half a second, stuck out her left hand to signal a left turn, and came to a full stop right in front of me. I I squeezed my brakes and made a sharp turn to the place where she just was. No contact with her motorbike, but plenty of contact between me and the pavement.

She looked back as if expecting me to hit her. I looked up from the ground. She drove straight! I am thinking "why the fuck is she going straight after just stopping right in front of me?"  I got up and dusted off my pants. My motorbike was leaking a little gas and had some scratches along the left side. There was some other damage as well, but nothing to severe or costly. 
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