Monday, January 5, 2009

this sense of loss

The invariable happiness you feel upon stumbling on inspiring people or inspiring thoughts of your own... Today I feel that way. A strange mix of sadness, uncertainty and loss, then all of a sudden it all turned around. A few things dragged me out of that state of mind and brought a smile to my face. And then there is this realisation, this immense sense of hope...

I feel a bit tired. If previously I still had second thoughts about the pda procedure, now I'm sure I need to go through with it. My heart feels funny.
This question of identity- I was reading what P. wrote- 'If I'm not this place an I'm not that place then what am I?' somehow thinking about this made me feel happy- this thought has constantly been on my mind, during the entire Vietnam trip. I've realised there are Australian values I hold so dear, through which I build my perception of the world. In Vietnam there was a sense of loss, because suddenly the foundation for my perceptions and thoughts did not exist.

A week after I'm back and things are starting to feel normal again. Yesterday I went on a late walk from a round 7-9pm, taking photos, making the most of the late summer sun. On the way back I talked briefly to Kevin, the ever red-faced gentle man sitting outside his house with a beer or a cigarette, drunk or not I don't know, but always being so friendly and polite. A woman walking her dog smiled at me. This is very different from what I get from Nha Trang and Hoi An.

I now feel I absolutely love Ha Noi. A kind of retro-loving, because I remember I couldn't wait to get back to Australia. I went to Bien Hoa and hated it, whereas with Hanoi, I feel some sort of connection. That strange little place. I haven't been to all parts of Hanoi, and how I see it is how I see the Old quarter. Maybe it was the weather, that cold that made me feel it's different from the rest of Vietnam. I love Nha Tho street- the proximity of things makes it such unusual and charming- the old colonial St. Joseph's Cathedral flanked by 2 narrow streets, one of which took us to our hotel. Street vendors with their little carts, people hanging out taking photos in front of the cathedral, shops along the streets with goods overflowing spill out onto the pavement and the streets. Such strange combination and juxtaposition of things... and the colours- tender, pastel-like of walls and tiles that line the sidewalks, narrow alleys/ entrances to houses that are long and dark but open to space and light at the end. The narrow streets and quaint French colonial architecture, moss on damp walls... Hanoi was a beautiful little gem.

a sudden oasis of the mind M's sketchbook Far

My Smena 8 broke in Hanoi. RIP little one.

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