After spending several uneventful days in Hanoi avoiding scams and taking verbal abuse from various authorities as gracefully as possible, i've decided that i honor of bastille day i can no longer allow my days to suck. That whole thing went down the tubes the minute i entered vietnam and i now have three weeks worth of sucky days to make up for, so it's time for something wild, something random, or at least something thrilling.
My birthday is the day before bastille day, and this year i turned 26 sitting on a lakeside bench in Hanoi with a cheap bottle of red to drink, half a pack of cigarettes to smoke, and about half the hanoi hustler population to shoo away. It made me think of how tame vietnam really is, how boring it is at times and how frustrating it is at times. It's a package of a country and i don't think i've ever seen anything quite as pathetic as far as travel experiences are concerned. I broke out of Saigon because i thought the rest of the country would be amazing... as it turns out, i was wrong. My opinion only.
I woke up the morning of bastille day, took a shower and broke out the big guns: i recently had an entire wardrobe tailored to perfection in Hoi An; it's the wardrobe of an assassin. It's been a while since i've danced in traffic... which to be clear isn't literal dancing so much as agility and swiftness and just being dramatic... and it felt lovely to do it again. Not thrilling, just lovely. Like strawberry shortcake and freckled faces in the springtime. The entire day was dedicated to wandering and wondering and just MOVING... i felt like my old self again tipping my hat to old ladies and bowing to young men, plucking flowers and 'planning' my next move (daydreaming) in smoke-filled coffeehouses. I feel alive again and capable of anything again.
So.... with that in mind, i'm off to Bloody Fucking China on Friday! There's a good sista from the past living in the Hong Kong area, so i'm going to shimmy on over there in a roundabout way to have tea with her, among other things. More of a consultation really. It's going to be an overland gig and it's going to fucking ROCK. Whisky and poker on the night trains. New obscenities to learn from coal miners. New cigarettes to try. And a new worry that the food i'm eating might actually be made of cardboard (watch the news) and then a new relief that at least cardboard is better than rats. I don't want to really see anything in China aside from its people... no great wall, no forbidden city, no crazy Shanghai vertical madness. If it gets in my way, fine. But there's no destination -- i'm only now realizing that this post was supposed to be about having no destination... maybe tomorrow -- and there really can't be a destination. Not now.
That will have to wait until the next post... sorry guys. :(