Saturday Morning for you

It’s been a fun week so far in Hanoi. Much more fun than the few days in Saigon except for meeting Lily and Tom for dinner. I sat around last night after eating dinner at Mystic Cafe and watching the sun disappear about the time left here, what I’ve done or not done thus far, and just how much I love this city. I’ve managed to get back to a number of places especially for food and beer I love, found new places here and there, and also noted with some sadness that the pandemic times claimed a few.

One of the biggest things Hanoi has all over Saigon to me is its social and cultural thing. Saigon is just big and has no real soul or conscience to it. People rush forever or walk down some walking street. I never cared for the ethos in Saigon about things. Hanoi has this wonderful social thing around neighborhoods and local places. Ba Dinh district is completely different from one street to the next yet it has this profound feeling to it like there is glue and each little neighborhood, street, Hem is held together by living and not living things. It is like that in Siem Reap too for me.

Here on my little alley way, bikes zoom and chickens are sold and people take the shortcut to West Lake for the coffee and food scene. All my time before in Hanoi, West Lake was a big actor in my life. It held me many times at small cafes and pubs and let me just sit and feel all that neighborhood goodness. Try that in Saigon where everything is all plastered together or held apart.

Going to Now

But now it is Saturday. A Saturday morning and I admit to being lazy today and deciding to not decide on a thing. Well besides a bowl of pho and maybe a coffee down the street at Goc Cafe. Pho always seems to stir my soul, make life seem so rich. And yeah, the pho shop is a neighborhood thing too. Goc Cafe is a little outside the local scene but close enough to walk to in minutes. There’s nothing special about this particular Vietnamese coffee house besides it is one I have just gone to for years now. I find the smiles and nods and the happiness when I first went back and the owner hugged me and showed me almost the same table as I would always take before.

So those seem to be the Now moments for me. No special big days ever planned here. No walking or food tours. Just Mike tours. In a city Mike just loves to wander through and around.

I won’t be thinking too much of then” although my friend Lily asked if I would be back in April to see her as she does school in Hanoi. I definitely would not do Saigon again. But I could see some Da Nang, Hoi An, and Hue and then a hop up to Hanoi on the train. Could be I tell her. She just smiles that Vietnamese smile and I know what it means. I will have to really consider going in April.

Take your Saturday. Take your Now. I’m gonna go file this post on a kindly web server that likes me. Take a walk to your places. Your neighborhood. What the F do you see?

January 7, 2023