My mind goes into high gear as anticipation and excitement collide mid-air while strapped firmly to the light blue cloth of a United economy seat. Head back, tray table upright, seat forward; we’ve heard it all before. The aircraft makes its final descent. There are few moments that get my blood pumping like touching down in an unfamiliar area. The unexpected becomes the expected; you just don’t know what it is.
You know you can count on the chaos. Throngs of motorcycles, plumes of exhaust fumes, honking horns, animals commanding equal road rights, and people; regardless of when you arrive the city beats to its own drum. Manic becomes the new norm.
Saigon is a sprawling city; hot, sticky. It’s the kind of place I knew I was going to love before I even looked around; it had that feel. My reading of “A Quiet American” had helped promote the romance of Saigon and build in my mind a set of expectations; all of which would be surpassed. Continue reading The American War