My friend P, and her husband M, are in Vietnam, sweating through a very non-white Christmas season. The white stuff wouldn't last a second in Southeast Asia if it ever managed to head that way. It's broiling hot, she says.
Between the heat and the fumes from the "hundreds of thousands of mopeds that fill the roads at all hours," on the streets of Can Tho, a big city on the Mekong Delta, P felt a little woozy.
She emailed me from an Internet cafe, another thing that's difficult to indulge in when you're traveling with others. They either have to want to use email too, or you have to make them wait for you, or you have to arrange to meet them somewhere when you're done.
And then you have to make sure you're done when you said you'd be done or you're making them wait. Details, details, that you don't have to deal with when you're on you're own.
Anyway, she wrote that for the afternoon, she was "boldly going solo" for two hours. With someone she called a "guide in training." So she had the company of a Thai local. "It's more interesting because I can ask the questions I want to ask without M going off on his tangents."
See, my faithful readers, even the person who's nearest and dearest to your heart, that traveling companion you supposedly can count on, can get in your way. Or on your nerves.
It's not always a blessing to have that familiar person by your side, as I've said before.