Every time I land at Noi Bai airport I am struck with the same realization Oh my gosh, I live in Vietnam. Really, you'd think I'd be used to it by now but the concept of it, at times, is still an abstract novelty. By now, I am able to navigate the chaotic streets with relative ease but the fact that I'm living this bizarre yet incredible life is not lost on me.
As I mentioned previously, it was very difficult for me to leave home this time. I thought it would be easy and painless, and was surprised in fact to find how easily I morphed back into a "New York state of mind" during my six week stint there, I really felt that i had progressed so much since moving here, that New York was great but that it was nothing compared to my adventures here.
I'm still "New York sick" but found that once I was in a cab heading home (laughing at the fact that my only "real" address these days is in Vietnam) that it was like I never left. Almost. I unpacked all of my things, and within hours I was immersed back into the Hanoi scene. It's kind of incredible to me that in 36 hours I am seamlessly able to transition from having drinks on the roof of the Soho House to eating street food and listening to music at Cinematheque.
Two solid days later, I've fallen back into my old routine. Same friends. Same habits. Same bars. The only thing that's different is me. When I left for vacation I was convinced that I wasn't ready to be a US resident for a while and this trip made me question that, so I am still pining a little bit for home. However, I have a feeling in the weeks to come (which will surely include several bowls of stellar pho) that the gnaw will dull and I'll be imagining how I could ever go back to NYC.