I am sitting behind the hinged door on the right side of the 32 seat bus. Friends, family and luggage are piled in as we leave Aunt Ten’s condo in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2. We head due east to Mui Ne, on the coast of Vietnam. We gather to celebrate the birthdays of newlyweds Hani and Andrew, conveniently abridged to the “90th”.
My head leans against the window. Inside are sounds of laughter, stories, kids, eating. Outside, endless waves of motorcycles and scooters weave and dance the diesel two-stroke amidst the endless waves of cars and buses.
Eight hours to the coast in a slow but steady bus, driven by a slow but steady driver. I take photos to pass the time and capture the moment. The developing world makes me tear up, gives me a deep sense of gratitude and privilege, focuses me on the big picture. The road, the feelings that come from watching the road, are long and deep.