Another story about life and trying to get things done in Long Xuyen: I was scheduled to view the movie Dead Poets Society this morning with one of my third-year classes. I arrived in the room at 7 a.m., and found the LCD projector all set-up and ready to go. However, the sound system wasn’t hooked up or ready to go. One of my students went and found a technician, and he took care of the problem, but by now it was about 7:15. Then we finally started watching the movie, and the power cut out. Slightly annoying, but it usually comes back on in a few minutes. And it did. But then it cut out again, and again. In total, it cut out five times, and every time it did, we had to wait for it to come back on, and then I had to restart the LCD projector and DVD player, only to repeat the same process a few minutes later when the power went out again. Finally, about 7:50, we started watching uninterrupted. I didn’t know it at the time, but part of the power grid in Long Xuyen had been cut, and AGU was running on generators at this time. Therefore, the air-conditioning units had been turned off, and the room was getting warmer and warmer. Luckily, the movie ended before the heat became unbearable.

Afterwards, when I found out that we were all running on generators, I stepped out to a small cafe for a coffee and chatted with the owner before realizing that it was getting time for lunch. Last night, I couldn’t sleep well, and I was looking forward to a nice, rejuvenating nap. However, without power, there was no air movement at all at home. I opened the window, but there was no breeze, just still, humid heat. I tried to sleep, but it was miserable. Finally, Hendrik and I agreed to go to another “office”: a cafe in town with A/C and internet access. So here we now sit, sipping on tea and typing emails and doing other various work because someone somewhere decided that the power to AGU had to be cut all day on Monday. The rumor going around is that AGU will not have full power until this evening at 6.

And just for fun: This is a beautiful and moving song by Bob Dylan. It’s haunting and all too familiar-sounding. I Was Young When I Left Home.

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