When my colleague asked me to draft up something for Vietnam for the embassy newsletter, I was excited about the prospect. The trip had been worth documenting, and I had a dozen ideas of different things I might write about. But as I am nearing the end of my tour, I found little time to spare to dedicate to the project. Then I was struck by an idea that was fresh and interesting, and probably better than anything I would have written myself. I could interview my wife, who accompanied me on the trip to the land of Ho, and get her perspective. It had been around two months since our trip and I realized it was probably the perfect time to capture her thoughts on Vietnam, while they are still fresh, but she has had time to process them and decide which ones will be part of her long term memories. Ever the diplomat, she agreed and so, without further ado here is the totally impromptu interview:
(Begin our only very slightly edited [to protect the innocent] interview. Thank you my dearest wife.)
Q: Is there anything I can get for you?
A: Yes, you can move those [decorative vases I put in dumb location where our cat could knock them over].
Q: OK, can we do that after the interview?
Q: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. I know you have a busy schedule.
A: I do.
Q: I really appreciate the opportunity to talk to you about your trip to Vietnam.
Q: OK, nothing to say about that then?
A: (laughter) I’m very happy to talk about my trip to Vietnam. It’s one the best trips I have ever taken.
Q: Great. Save all the Vietnam stuff for the interview. So, Vietnam: how long were you in Vietnam? What were the cities you visited?
A: We were in Vietnam about nine days and stayed initially in Hanoi. Then we took a boat trip out to Ha Long Bay before returning to Hanoi for the final days.