Delicate white wings flutter Lakeside Swimming through tall fronds That sway in the cool breeze. Shards of sunbeam parse through The canopy of tree branches, Softened by park chatter And the symphony of scooter horns.
Across the cafe tables a lone singer Warbles, As traffic inches on And policeman gossip. Above them the red and yellow flags Of a country Once on its knees – Now making strides Against all odds, and In spite of others’ preconceptions.
How little Hanoi changes And yet How significant that continues to be In a world of flux, Simulation and pain.
It’s 2015. It’s mid January. And spring is here in Saigon.
In what has become my annual celebration of just how pleasant a time of year it is over here, when so many other parts of the world are either sweltering in their own juices, or snow ploughing their way to the office, I can’t resist once more in proclaiming the bleeding obvious: life is so much easier when you have the weather on your side.
Biking into work these days you are struck by the golden light, the intensely perfumed scents of the orchids and bogainvilleas, and the breeze. The fact that there is a breeze is enough to be thankful for, given Saigon’s notorious humidity track record. The New Year marks the lowest temperatures Saigon will experience until next January – somewhere in the mid 20’s – perfection in my mind, although many locals are already donning their puffer jackets and scarves in protest at the chilly starts to their days.
2015 – no resolutions for me, a year instead to appreciate all that comes my way and to embrace the here and now. I am grounded in Saigon until a UK visit next month, hosting as I am a regional workshop here at the end of the month, and enjoying the novelty of “routine” after a fabulous Christmas break, involving some long weekends away, and plenty of indulgent moments of sheer fun with Florence and Martha.
Perhaps a suitable 2015 resolution after two months absence from this blog (I’ve been peppering the sister site – http://www.definitelymaybe.me – with musings on development issues over the past few months instead) would be to post a bit more regularly.
Let me see…
Meantime, a lazy capture of the last quarter of 2014, which saw me travel extensively, can be found below in the form of pictures. I took to instagram last year, so check out @saigonsays on that if you are similarly hooked.
Wishing you all a very prosperous New Year to come.