Note* This was drafted months ago and appears here in - more or less - it's original form. I need to close out this countdown so I can concentrate on updating people with what has been happening and is planned for the coming months.
Am I cheating by quoting a period of 3 days? Don't care. By paraphrasing the modern philosopher Tassell "It's a vibe". December was undoubtedbly the most depressed I have ever been. On crutches, my comeback on two legs- particularly on the football field- shattered, and facing a year out of football, never to play for my team again was bad enough but upon our return from a fantastic stag weekend in Phuket, I slumped to a new low. A not inconsiderable number of friends were voicing their displeasure for Saigon, the recent parallel that I had drawn with Thailand, facing what could well be our last complete family Xmas plus a very sombre juncture in time all conspired to make mid December such a difficult time for me.
However, I made a couple of people share my baggage, and things began to look up. Things certainly took a positive spin at the Apollo Xmas party, and I looked forward to New Year with genuine lust for life. An intimate house party for those Apollo-ites who were working on the evening of the 31st was held at our house. Of course, we subsequently hit TNR (which had never smelled better) where, in a throwback to the first time I met Casey, everyone was having a good old bug-eyed time and the celebrations eventually wound up at... forgotten the name of the cafe upstairs on Do Quang Dao... when life for the Saigonese had begun yet another ordinary day. And for me, 2010 brought a fresh new beginning which enabled me to really embrace my final months in SE Asia.
Without getting too publicly soppy, Hana was (without being too literal) the one thing about Saigon I am taking away with me. And the best thing. I mean, I love my Phuket Spicy 7's winner's medal, don't get me wrong. Again, I'm at risk of harping on about the Raiders, but my piece on them has come and gone. Raiders are in my past and Hana is in my future. Wherever the hell that will take place!