Wednesday 21 March 2012

No Vietnam

My father does want to go to Vietnam, but my mother is reluctant, indecisive...One day, the idea would appeal to her and she would get excited about it, the next day, she would have doubts about the relevance of such a trip.
"And the heat!" she would often exclaim. "The heat! I don't think I can stand being in that heat. I'm an 80 year old lady, remember!!!"
The constant change of mood and her unwillingness to leave the house make it difficult for my father to plan anything. He had hoped that I would be better at convincing my mother, but the effect didn't last long.
I received an email this morning stating that the irrevocable final decision was that they won't be coming to Vietnam. I feel dispirited. But maybe also relieved, if I'm honest. I loved the idea of seeing my parents again, but as my mother put it yesterday on the phone:
"It will be nice for the first few days, because we haven't seen you in a long time, but then what? Nothing to do. I have seen it all already!" 
Maybe she has, when she was younger.
"Your father wants to visit the Emperors' tombs in Huê. I have seen them countless time!" went on.
Another reason is that she has no longer any relative there. The trip was important to me as it was our first time meeting in Vietnam. I have to accept that it may only be meaningful to me. I'm the free agent in the family and the need to feel my roots is stronger for that very reason.
It would have been a welcome change of air for my father. I know he would have loved to come. Staying all day long with my mother is draining. I feel bad for him, but what can be done? I suggested that my mother spent a month in Los Angeles with her sister and that my father came to Vietnam alone... It remained a suggestion.
"But I can't leave your father like that" she told me. "Poor man, who would take care of him? Who would cook for him?"
I repressed a chuckle. I wanted to tell her that it would be quite the opposite. He needs a holiday from looking after HER.

As far as I'm concerned, the trip now will be reduced to one or two weeks in only one city, Saigon - so I can meet Tuân Lê. However, now I also feel uncertain. Time is precious at the moment, projects keep coming (as I don't keep my mouth shut). My intuition now tells me it's not the right time.
I will wait a couple of weeks before I buy the ticket. So far, a tentative date is set around the 17th of April, after the performances of Winterreise.
But I just don't feel like it anymore...

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