Living alone in Can Tho has thus far been a blessing and a curse. The blessing is of course that I have my pick of three rooms, four bathrooms, and a peaceful terrace on which to think during the very early hours of my mornings in Vietnam. The downside to my new-found solitude is that I am often surrounded by near complete silence at night. Funny enough, the saving grace to this oft found sense of loneliness has turned out to be the tiny animals who also live inside of my Can Tho home.
Colonies of tiny lizards seem to be in every southern Vietnamese household. Indeed, they are as much a part of my home as the paintings on the walls. The lizards are quite shy, however, and immediately scatter when I walk into the rooms in which they dwell. On the rare occasions that I do catch a full glance of their small, lithe bodies, they run from me as fast as they can. The lizards in Vietnam are quite beautiful. It’s a shame that these coy creatures choose to remain in the shadows.
Unwelcomed guests in my home are the hoards of mosquitoes who without fail crash the party as soon as I lay my head down to sleep every night. While general wisdom in Vietnam stipulates that we use mosquito nets, I hate feeling as though I may be suffocated by a big blue blob of silky fabric during my sleep and opt not to use the net. The choice has come at a high price, though, as the bare skin of my chest and back have played landing strip to these disgusting monsters for the last week or so.
The good news is that I am not as alone in my home as I thought. Last night, as I went down to the kitchen for a bowl of Rice Krispies and Vinamilk, I caught site of a toad who looked exactly like the toads in Houston. Old and ugly as he may have appeared, the little guy was kind enough to pause for a photo shoot. Who knows how long he had been waiting in this desolate house for a new roommate to arrive. And aside from the steady hum of my ceiling fan, the toad’s croaking has been a welcomed addition to my quiet nights of web development in Can Tho.
My sister asked me today if I wanted to search for a roommate in order to not only share costs of the house with him but also to fill the void in Can Tho. I told her that in addition to avoiding having to manage someone else’s stay in my home at all costs, I also needed the privacy. What I did not tell her, but what was on my mind, is that as long as the lizards and toads stick around and the mosquitoes stay out, that I should be just fine in this grand ol’ haven of solitude.