Spending six weeks in Southeast Asia turned out to be way easier than I anticipated. Two side trips, first to Laos, then later to South Viet Nam, bracketed the time. Back at Tim’s apartment, I had fun rearranging his life, his furniture, his artwork. It was challenging to work with the embassy-supplied North Carolina-made fake Chippendale upholstered in Dijon colored fabric. In the end I sent two chairs and the faux gold leaf lamps back to the embassy. I had great fun designing new lamps from Asian lacquered boxes and pounded brass urns that I hunted down in the Russian Market and combined with red silk shades. Tim got to keep his Portland decor in his bedroom, where I moved all the family photos. And the spare bedroom became the “Georgian Room,” where I grouped all his memorabilia from Tbilisi. Have I enticed you to consider a visit? Hope so.
As I dig back into mortgage files and settle into the culture shock of my rainy Portland home, I can’t help daydreaming of warm nights, 75 cent happy hours along the Mekong River and all the joy and laughter without the holiday madness and freezing rain.
Perhaps next winter I’ll try an Asian Christmas, but for now I’m hunkered down in front of the tree, wrapping up 2011, a year of great change, indeed.
May you enjoy a peace-filled and mirthful holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year!