I’m writing this from one of the cafes in Long Xuyen with wireless internet. This place is air-conditioned and it’s a welcome relief from the bright and hot sun outside today. Tomorrow classes begin at the university and this morning I went out to get some last-minute photocopying finished up. I ran into another teacher at the photocopy shop and this led to a series of events including coffee and then a trip to the barber shop. I had recently taken a shower, and after showers my hair is usually straighter than normal. However, by the time that we got to the barber shop my hair was beginning to dry and curl. The barber didn’t really know what to do with it, so I had my hair straightened. That’s right, I had my hair straightened. And then cut a little, but it doesn’t look that different. So far it’s just been a good, lazy Sunday.

In the past week two new foreigners have moved into the guesthouse. Hendrik is from Germany and will be working with the library staff and doing research for about five months, and Lillian, who is with VIA, will be teaching here for the coming school year.

I was having thoughts of the beauty of driving a motorbike around in the sun. The heat that builds up at traffic lights. The coolness that is felt upon acceleration. The smells that fly by. The water that builds up in your eyes at higher speeds. The feel of wind in your hair. The hot sun on your arms even though air is rushing over them. It’s pretty magical when the conditions are right.

Once again, Tyler has returned from the central city of Hue sporting less of a beard and a sunburn from the motorbike drive from Ho Chi Minh City to Long Xuyen. It’s good to have him back around here. I snapped this picture of him and Hoa in my room this afternoon.

Tyler and Hoa

Jack was in Long Xuyen visiting for the past few days. It was nice to hang out with him again and he enjoyed seeing a lot of old friends. He stayed in my room and at one point even cleaned it, which I wasn’t expecting but surely appreciated.

Jack

Something you don’t see in America: Potential students checking the results of the An Giang University entrance exam. I heard that one in every 15-20 students who took the exam will be accepted to study here.

Exam Results

Jack’s here visiting now and today it’s been raining constantly since about 11:30 a.m. I’m blaming my cold on this recent cool, rainy, and windy weather that we’ve had here in Long Xuyen lately. I’m trying to get things pulled together for the school year which seems to be approaching faster every day, but it’s tough to get a lot of things done when you feel like crap.