Wow what a huge day. First saying goodbye to my beautiful husband. Dealing with the massive fear I had (I realize now it was unwarranted, but it was coming from memories of my flight to Kolkata and arriving at 11pm at night to be confronted by a 6 year old boy begging for Thai baht).
I tried to pack my overheard bag into my backpack on the airport floor. I had pre planned to have only one bag and one toddler to carry, so the cabin bag was packed with the plan being it would be compressed into my main backpack before leaving the terminal. I was in super mum mode and determined that in the chaos of the airport madness, I would not loose Little messyfish in Asia to the "white slave trade" (a fear, not a reality). I was stern and strict. I kept yelling at him to stay close, that I must be able to see him at all times and I was getting more and more stressed. I noticed that a security official was watching me with suspicious eyes. Oh my god, I looked like a drug dealer. I was completely stressing. People all around were in holiday mode. Excited, happy delirious and looking for the exit. I was obsessed with packing my bag just right, micro controlling my child and wondering how i was ever going to get my bag on my back and my child on my front. In hindsight, knowing so much more about the Vietnamese now, I realize that that stern looking official woman at the baggage pickup was probably just watching me because i was such a strange and odd creature, who had no control over her child. In hindsight now, I forgot to be playful. I didnt realize, that if my bag can go round and round on a carosole, then it would be perfectly safe propped up against a pole while I chased my son around and let him run off his energy. In hindsight, I would have found a safe place for him to run around at every opportunity. This was one of the safest places that i could have found in the whole of the trip. It was a clean white tiled floor, airconditioned, no motorbikes and only official types standing around watching and making sure everyone was doing the right thing. As the vietnamese go, kids running around and having fun IS them doing the right thing. It would have been perfectly acceptable to allow that to happen. It is the old "control your child and make him behave" tapes that had me all in a twist, and therefore had little messyfish all in a twist.
I wrote in my journal "I am totally loving the alleys and street food and all the amazing things to see!! Its like India without all the people giving me a hard time! Its amazing. Go slow, reduce culture shock, don't do too much in the first week, then get out of here! Go to a nice country area or to Dalat".