Friday, November 30, 2018

Get Used To It

Red and I have now lived in Vietnam for just over six months and the contract with my job just ended. My job does not allow for vacations. So, for employees who want one, they are instructed to take some time between contracts. My new contract starts on December 15, so I have the next two weeks off. YAY!!!


I already live in the tropics and am less than a mile from a beautiful beach. This means I already live in a place where many people choose to go for vacation.

So, there is no need to go anywhere.

I've known this would be my time off since I started this job six months ago. I was looking forward to exploring the area and seeing more of this beautiful country. And unlike the wintertime Hoth-like landscape of the Midwest where I grew up, it never gets cold here. A December vacation spent at home would be awesome. Except for one thing.

This is my first winter in Vietnam and I didn't know about monsoon season. It's supposed to last for three months and I've been told that means heavy rain all day every day. Except for a few days when it will rain even more.

Here is what is currently going on in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).




Here's a picture of the city I live in (Hội An).



 This picture is actually from last year because it has only just started raining here, but the locals tell us that this is common. It floods every year. We were in a clothing shop yesterday and the owner told us that last year the flooding was really bad. She showed me the stains on the wall that were as high as my shoulders. Water was in her shop FIVE FEET DEEP!

I told her that I knew last year was especially bad. Luckily, that's not every year. She said, "Yes. Normally, it's only this deep." She then held her palms at chest level. That's still close to four feet deep.

The entire downtown area of Ancient Town Hội An floods that high every year.

When we were first looking for houses in this city, we looked at one on a small island in the middle of the river that runs through Ancient Town. I asked about the potential for flooding, the landlord showed me the marks on the walls to know what to expect. It would be about three feet of water in our house. I asked how often this happens. She told me, "Oh. It's not too bad. Only three or four times per year."

She then informed me that when the area starts to flood, she and her husband would come to our house to help us stack the furniture up on the tables to avoid water damage. Nothing to worry about.

One of the homes we visited, had a huge hole in the middle of the floor on the second level. It was used for pulling things up to the second floor during the rainy season. It was easier to pull large items up through the hole than carry them up the stairs. This was told to us just as a matter of fact. It's the way it is if you want to live close to the river. Everyone just understands that.

We live a little further out and our house is supposedly safe from the flooding. Last year was the worst flooding that had been seen in decades and it did not flood this house. Hopefully, it will stay that way. We've finally learned to accept the spiders and lizards we can't seem keep out of the house. Sharks may be more than we can handle.