24 October thru 4:57 am
There were only two other people staying the dorm room at Quan’s house, one girl and one guy. They were awake, but watching movies on their respective notebook computers. I did not talk to them that night, but I would learn the next day that the girl was Ukrainian. She had hitchhiked from Kiev to Ho Chi Minh City (avoiding Russia for geopolitical reasons) and was trying to find a job teaching English in the suburbs. She was gorgeous. The next day when I spoke with her, I think she made an effort to sound as unattractive to me as possible: She smoked; had a busted leg; refused to eat meat, dairy, or grain; did not drink; had an unhealthy dislike of Russians; and thought that 9/11 was an inside job.
The guy, I would learn, was Russian. He would play pick up basketball with locals in the city the next morning.
I wrote for little while, reconfirmed my plans for my final day, and went to sleep. I would not see Quan until waking up in the morning.
At 4:57 am Indochina time, corresponding with the beginning of that day’s nautical twilight, the moon, sun, and earth were in near alignment. At that very moment, a partial solar eclipse was visible over much of North America.
A new moon had arrived. The diary portion of this blog ends.