Vietnam: Day 4 (Night Market Saigon)

We left our friend’s house and headed to the tourist area in district 1 to buy our bus tickets. We took a cab, but had to cross 10 lanes or so of motor scooter traffic. There are no lights, but there are ironic seemingly crosswalks painted everywhere. The flow never stops. Crossing the wide and loud street looks deadly at first, but you just look for gaps. As soon as you see one, you have to seize that opportunity and step off the curb. The gap will be filled momentarily. You will panic and you will be tempted to rush across the street. This is a mistake. You have to walk slowly and calmly, allowing the gaps to align, and you pass straight through what looks like an impassable wall. You must be aware of your surroundings, but usually you will be okay if you keep a steady pace and look for the gaps. There is something zen about it; a feeling; a rush. You wade through the mechanical river. It is like slowly walking over a waterfall or a set of rapids, along the stepping stones that jut out of the water.

Continue reading

Vietnam: Day 3 (Diving, in retrospect)

I forgot to weblog my third day in Vietnam. I went scuba diving. They took me out early in the morning on a glorified version of the banana-shaped fishing boats that are omnipresent on Pho Cuoq. It was a sunburning hour and a half boat ride to our dive sight, but it was worth it. There was a divemaster for every two recreational divers and we were paired up with a woman from Vancouver. All the divemasters are foreigners staying in Phu Cuoq for employment.

Continue reading

Vietnam: Day 2 (morning coffee)

I woke up at around six hundred hours (Vietnam time, of course) this morning, still a little jet-lagged, but substantially refreshed. Still a little used to my old institutionalized self, I was surprised to find myself covered in mosquito nets, with all my belongings next to me in a big safe. I spent a few moments lying there in order to let my mind get a better grasp on its surroundings and reset my (Swiss-made) circadian clock.

I went outside and laid down on my hammock just as thew Sun was rising over the jungle palms. It was a breathtaking sight and it reminded me of an idea I’d had looking East on a November morning in Montreal.

Continue reading

Vietnam Day 1

The following being an account of my travels in Southeast Asia, Starting with my overly complicated and lengthy trip from Montreal to the Pacific island Phu Cuoq:

I have finally obtained my long-awaited state of cathartic release. I feel overjoyed as I realize this, sitting on the beach of an island on the south-eastern coast of Vietnam. The last 48 hours, in addition to the last 4160 hours spent in gruesome mind-numbing rehabilitation, have been torturous. Fortunately, all of this only added to the catharsis.

Continue reading