Version 0.53 (Thinking Forward, Looking Back)


Off to Hue for a few days with Huyen before departing for Laos. I’m not too sad to leave, but instead am happy to be seeing Huyen one last time, for it’ll be a couple months before I return to Vietnam. I am going to take a southerly route through Laos from Savannakhet to Si Phan Don, before entering Cambodia, then into Thailand, and onward to Kuala Lumpur for a work exchange, hopefully. Funny though—the sole thing that served as impetus, at first, to visit KL was a certain cafe, Merchant’s Lane, that I found on Instagram. Perhaps a silly reason for visiting a city, but I suspect Kuala Lumpur will have much to entertain me with in regard to the life of its people, subject matter for photography, and other cafes to explore.*

Anyway, my time in Da Nang has been an enriching experience. I’ve met some truly lovely people, and made a pretty good friend unexpectedly. I’ve certainly eaten a greater variety of food here than in Hanoi, and have also grown more comfortable being a foreigner not able to communicate with locals easily.

I have just realized that I left my suit in a cafe in Da Nang and I am now on the train to Hue. I don’t know what to say for myself…..

Well, anyway (once again always thinking or saying or writing “anyway”), I’m on the train. There’s no changing that. The windows across the aisle from me open on to a vista nearly colorless. The horizon is a line so well blended and smudged that the division between sky and ocean seems almost nonexistent, as if all of us in the train are peering out into that void from which all life springs eternally. It’s what one might imagine parts of heaven to be like, but filled with a sense of deep tranquility and joy instead of trepidation over the fate of a suit. In an hour or so I’ll be in Hue searching for food, maybe, or just checking into the homestay and awaiting Huyen’s arrival.

*Perhaps it’s not such a silly reason, for everywhere that is a place, and anywhere, which is contained in everywhere, must be a place, must have something interesting contained within. I often think that I could throw a dart at a map and go to that place and find myself fascinated by it.

Furthermore, one’s “silly” reason for traveling somewhere could unbeknownst to that person open up a whole undiscovered world to him/her, and, after all, isn’t that half, if not most of, the point of travel? One’s reason for going somewhere isn’t important so much as the act of going is what is important.

This isn’t typically a blog that engages with its readers (few that it has), but what reasons have you had for traveling to a place? Have you ever thought them silly or ridiculous? Like no sensible person would ever travel hundreds or more miles to see or do this one thing?


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