In other news:
Heaven and Earth, Overturned
14k words, and I think I’ve sorted out the ending. Now to lay the groundwork for it…
I spent a fascinating afternoon looking up the history of the Nguyễn dynasty–which went downhill pretty fast (for those who don’t know, the Nguyễn are the last ruling dynasty of Việt Nam, with a significant portion of their reigns happening under French protectorate and over reduced territory). Of particular interest, the posthumous names of the Emperors–especially the gaps, which correspond to Emperors who were forced to abdicate (Hiệp Hòa, who signed the infamous treaty of Huế, which basically handed Việt Nam over to the French, said treaty being so restrictive even the French Metropole refused to ratify it; a bunch of Emperors who were deposed and/or exiled by the French for refusing to collaborate, and the last Emperor, who abdicated). It tells… a story that is very much not pretty (not that I’m surprised, I knew about this in a large sense, but not the precise details).
Also, Dục Đức. Shortest posthumous name ever (Lily Emperor, if my Vietnamese dictionary didn’t screw up the translation). It probably doesn’t help he ruled for only 3 days, but still, what a way to signal a total lack of achievements…
(in case you were wondering, none of this is actually useful for the story, except in the sense of improving my Vietnamese history and making me realise I really should have kept up with my Vietnamese lessons–yup, once again Mom and Grandma are absolutely correct, I’ve forgotten pretty much everything except basic pronunciation…)
In more personal notes, I think we’re almost done with the packing of the boxes. All but the essential necessities have been boxed, and we’re looking at a particularly balanced diet this week (ie takeaway, ’cause most of the kitchen stuff is in the boxes)