tailor made

I am trapped in a world of tailors and fittings. Of the over 200 tailors in Hoi An I have been to 6, maybe 7…with approximately 4 fittings in each I now have 4 dresses, 2 jackets, 1 suit and a pair of shorts. So rewarding and exhausting to create your own wardrobe! not sure what happened to traveling lightly…

Hoi An


 I have found a place to call home, at least for a few days. Hoi An is a charming village, filled with the finest eateries in which a 3-course meal at a 4 star restaurant costs $5. I wonder just how many spring rolls I can eat!? I can’t speak much for the sights as I have taken a break from visiting temples and taken to visiting the tailor shops, perhaps more exhausting than silent prayer. the streets are filled with galleries exhibiting paintings by young local talent. These lacquer compositions reveal a sentimentality that speaks from the soul of an artist.

My latest acquisition as my art collection grows, by a young Vietnamese artist reminiscent of Paul Klee, one of my most beloved artists. 

Halong Bay

For 2 days I lived on a ‘junk’ boat, with 12 other equally adventurous souls. Lost admidst 950 miles of mysterious limestone formations rising out of the clear, emerald waters of the Gulf of Bac Bo. Meals of fresh caught fish, a morning of kayaking, cave exploration and beaches…some of the most wondrous natural sights I have yet seen, disconnected from all that resembles reality. A beautiful sensation of complete freedom.

Sunset from the roof deck…followed by a night beneath the stars drinking Vietnamese wine (some things are better left to the French…)

The friendly yet fiesty girl from whom I bought many an exotic fruit. Indeed, a floating fruitstand!

Hanoi


I am living in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, where life spills into the streets. Women sit huddled together in conversation over bowls of noodles, cooked in a pan at their side. The soft, almost melodic hum of scooters weaves through the crowds of pedestrians and bicyclists. I sit and observe over a cup of coffee, the best coffee I have tasted in months. Strong and slightly bitter, mixed to perfection with sweetened milk, which I ingest by the spoonful. I digress, my mind wanders, the common trait of a pensive observer…
Some sort of concoction of beans, fruit, ice and condensed milk, delicious! Such tasty street foods!

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

It is here in Vietnam that
exhaustion has finally caught up with me. This is a rapidly moving city, everyone seems to be zipping by on a scooter, and to cross the street is quite an interactive experience. Perhaps it’s the intense heat or over-stimulation of the past four months, or perhaps the desire to simply call a place my home. My mind is filled with so many visions, at once they form a most elaborate composition of people and places…the world has taken residence in my head. These days in Saigon are spent indulging in bowls of Pho, those noodles which I love, and a little bit of shopping (I will save my energy for the tailors in Hanoi). And of course a great deal of culture. A heavy day of history at the War Remnants Museum. What is it that they say, be careful when discussing religion and politics? I would have to agree. Tomorrow the Mekong Delta…