Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coming to Vietnam

This is typically the hardest part of my trip. Coming to a developing country has it's challenges, first being a lack of ability to move independently.

In Hong Kong, I can catch a taxi, train or bus to and from the airport - or limo if my boss were so inclined :)

In Vietnam I must wait in a dusty airport for a driver who speaks no English to show up and find me in a crowd. Today he was 30 minutes late. It's a Sunday and the factory staff I plan to work with in the next few days appears to be too busy to answer the phone and answer where the driver might be. I assume they are playing soccer or golf - it's a Sunday. Why bother being professional and calling to make sure I've arrived safely.

So I call my boss, who's traveling in Shanghai and phones me back just as driver shows up. Nice to know I can count on someone over here!

We take off on a 2.5 hour road trip to the hotel where I'll be dining alone tonight. Apparently factory staff are too busy with personal plans to meet me tonight. I'm starting to wonder why I even bother making the trip out here again. See this happened before when they were stationed in Korea. Being that it was a 1.5 hour drive, they would ask me to get the bus into the hotel and the more often I came, the more often they'd ask me to dine alone. This is now a clear sign that I've come once too many times this year. Duly noted.

To add further aggravation, my right breast has gotten swollen and lumpy. Maybe it's a stuck duct? I don't know, after massaging it upon arrival to hotel room and pumping it seems to have deflated. Slightly freaking out that I might get mastitis again and not have any antibiotics but now that I've finished dinner it's feeling better.

Apologies for the lack of cheer, it's just that there are so many places I'd rather be than one that isn't offering much welcome. Here till Thursday morning. Just 3 full working days left. Then there is no chance in hell I'm coming back until mid-September at best.

PS. unloaded bag to find shampoo has exploded over the back end. Glad I'm relegated to 3 ounces for carry on. Electronic keys may be the only casualty because I stupidly held them under water - briefly. Maybe they will be okay.

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