Thursday, October 4, 2012

Near Miss

I came home to an inconvenient surprise last night.  About five fire trucks were crammed into our tiny alley and I was barred access to my building.  Apparently, it was on fire.  It seems no one was hurt, and fortunately for myself the fire was in block C (where I used to live) and not in block A(where I live now).  I gave up on waiting and went to have a beer with a friend.  By the time I returned, the power was back on but the internet and cable weren't.  Residents in Block C were less fortunate as they were not allowed to return to the building until everything was sorted.  In the morning, the entrance was still blocked by firefighters although tonight they seem to be gone. However, the power is still out so even if residents are allowed back inside they have to choose between a candlelit evening or another night of hotels and friendly couches. 

Here's a link to an article with pictures.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day Before a Holiday, Cat Ba Island

Crossing the bridge, plastic chairs lined up with "fresh" beer and pandan leaf wrapped snacks.  Wooden boats docked five thick float on trash that floats on water.  Families in the darkness of their cabins eat on the floor while watching Vietnamese dramas on TV.  Two iron grey navy boats are moored together.  The troops are in their boxers sharing their bath time with each other and the world on the ship's bow.  In one junk, I see a group of sweaty shirtless fishermen sharing dinner and rice wine.  One of them spots me and summons the attention of the others.  They beckon me inside.  If I entered and never came out, no would ever know where to start looking.

The sun sets behind the limestone peaks, the mosquitoes come out for their nightly binge drinking.  The streets are quiet before the holiday.  Quiet except for a lone club, glass doors wide open, flashing lights and loud disco.  A bartender with no one to serve.

Only the deaf and dying will go to sleep early tonight.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Five Months

Five months.  That's how long it's been since I've posted here.  A shameful hiatus, I know.  It would be impossible to write in full depth everything that I have done in that time and every trip I've taken.  Instead, I will give a mere brief on the last five months and in so doing, hopefully I'll be able to return to this blog and write more meaningful, in-depth entries.