I went out to a café last evening and just sat there. I watched part of a soccer game and listened to people lament near-goals and talk all the time. This particular place was on the corner of two seemingly busy streets, and about every minute there was a roar as a flock of motorbikes accelerated. The air was cool as the evening fell, and I sat there and sipped tea and tried to write letters.

Then it was back to my room as I sat on my bed in a semi-trance and tried to study the more specific meanings of words and phrases in Vietnamese. I think one of my weaknesses in learning this language is that I have trouble accepting something that someone just tells me. I want to learn to specific meaning of each word in a phrase, which slows me down. Sometimes it feels like I’m trying to cut down a redwood with a pocket knife.

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