So, there are a handful of "things" that I won't miss about living here - which I write for other FS families who are interested in learning more about Saigon life. Nothing too terrible, in the grand scheme of things, but annoying nonetheless.
- The dirty air - pollution is an issue world-wide, and I definitely took clean(er) air in the US for granted. All in all, we have been lucky and haven't had too many issues with the air here, but running outside becomes quite dicey and after two almost solid years, it is catching up with all of us, especially Amelia, in terms of coughing. The only impact this had on our day-to-day life would be the ability to run outside.
- People staring - at me, at the girls - Now, as a redhead, I am used to people staring and public attention, and I knew that bringing our blonde daughters to SE Asia would attract attention, but I will not miss sticking out in each and every crowd. Being able to "blend in" is not something that has happened once in our tour here, and it has eventually begun to wear on me.
- Public urination - this, I am sure, is not Vietnam or Saigon specific. But here, it is quite common for men and children to urinate on the side of streets or corners of sidewalks. And occasionally, you will come across poop - Again, not the end of the world, but to me personally, super gross. In full disclosure though, I have allowed Alli to urinate on the sidewalks twice in two years because there are no usable public bathrooms here. None. So, now we are part of the problem! Amelia has also peed twice on the ground at the pool, but she was only 1 and she firmly believes she is Vietnamese, so I am giving her a pass.
- Brutal honesty - Several months ago, Co Ty told me that one of the gardeners where we live was confused as to how the girls ended up being so beautiful when Erik and I are not beautiful. Ouch. The Vietnamese, I believe, are kind people. However, they have no filter in expressing their thoughts, ideas and opinions. Several times Ty has stopped me from leaving the house in an outfit she thought was inappropriate. I have been stopped countless times by women with suggestions on how to "rid" myself of my horrible skin condition (freckles). I do believe, people feel they are trying to be helpful. But it is the kind of help I do not really want.
Just like living anywhere, you take the good with the bad. Our good greatly outweighs the bad, so I am calling this tour a win. Big time.