19/01/01, 11 days, 2019

Happy New Year! While more or less everyone else in the world was celebrating the end of an old year and the start of a new year, I was in a plane, flying back from my 14 month assignment in Vietnam. My visum and work permit both expired with the start of the new year, so I booked my flight through Paris to Amsterdam leaving at 2350 (1150pm), for some weird reason making sure that I stayed in Vietnam as long as possible 🙂

Besides some applause by a few tourists in the back of the plane there was not much attention for the start of the new year at 0000, probably because the Vietnamese celebrate their lunar new year somewhere at the end of January/ beginning of February. And no, we did not celebrate the start of the new year over and over again during the 12 hour flight… The earth rotates twice as fast as the plane flies, meaning that we arrived 6 hours after the new year in Paris. Only Concorde could potentially keep up with the time zones, but those days are long gone…

Me and my collegues ended the project on Sunday with a grand opening, which was fun to be part of. On monday I went back to site one last time to say goodbye to all the people we have worked with during the past year. Saying goodye was strange… Vietnam never felt like home to me… For me the place where we lived was not a very apealing place to live, despite the project being very interesting. And i’m not going to miss the daily one way 1,5 hour commute on bumpy Vietnamese roads either. But some people you grow fond of. And it’s strange that you will not see them again (at least any time soon). So yes, i’ll certainly miss parts of it…
January 1st truly marks the ending of something old and the beginning of something new for me. And who the hell came up with the idea to do a four month cycle trip through Africa after already being away from home for 14 months!?!?! Lets just see where this will end… Bring it on. Just another few days to make my last preparations and visit family and friends. The train just keeps rolling. But first i’ll have to travel the last stretch from Paris back home. Only to return on CDG on January 11th to transfer to my flight to Cairo 🙂

Ready to go home: All my stuff packed. And I actually managed to get it all checked in 🙂

Vietnam Signing Off…

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