Well, it’s now June, meaning that it’s almost been six months since I came back to these United States from across the ocean where I was a day younger. If you have read this blog over the past six months you’ve seen my rants and raving about life in this expensive industrialized nation and some thoughts about my times in that tropical country where I dedicated three years of my life. Insomnia still attacks me some nights when I try to sleep, like last night when all thoughts as I laid in the darkness were of people — friends and students and colleagues — that I met while in Vietnam. There’s just something about this place that I can’t figure out: I can’t figure out why people can stand this country. It’s like talking to a tree or something. The tree says that it’s growing little by little, year by year, but it still knows that eventually it’s going to to be cut down and burned. I guess that’s true for all people in all walks of life, but the country of Vietnam had an optimistic feel to it that I can’t find here; the people there had a sociability that the people here seem to have lost. A different culture, for sure, and lots of aspects of it annoyed the hell outta me, but at times I miss them. I miss random people asking me relatively personal questions and I really don’t mind answering them. I miss the normalness of just lounging around and drinking coffee for 20 minutes or so. I miss being able to go out with friends for no particular reason except that someone feels like it. And I don’t understand why some aspects of that far away culture are not part of this culture which would bind this society closer together.