A dream from a dozen years ago:
A young woman and I were in a plantation house in the Central Highlands.
“If...When we are able to leave, we will go to the United States on an airplane,” I said. “No,” I amended. “We will get on a boat, a passenger ship.”
She said, “There are no passenger ships at Saigon, nor at Vung Tau. Certainly not at Nha Trang.”
I said, “Singapore, then. Are there flights from Saigon to Singapore?” She said she did not know. I said, “Then we will fly to Bang Kok. There are flights from Bang Kok to Singapore. We will get on a ship at Singapore, and we will go to Indonesia and then to Australia and from there to the United States.’
“I would like that,” she said.
“Or, we could go west. We could go to...Where would we land in East Pakistan or India? I don’t remember the port cities there.”
“There is an atlas in the library,” she said. “I will get the atlas.”
I watched as she walked from the room. She wore blue jeans and a white blouse and her hair tied in back with a red bandanna.
The veranda doors were open. Gentle rain fell.
She returned with the atlas. She sat beside me on the couch. She placed the atlas on the coffee table. She opened the atlas to a map of Southeast Asia -- both Vietnams, Laos and Cambodia.
I put a finger on the map and said, “We are here.”
“Your finger is too big.” She turned to a two-page map of the world.
“That’s too small to see all the port cities,” I said.
She turned to a section that had Southeast Asia on two pages. She and I looked at the map.