Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

Hello, Hanoi (Part 11 of Many) Across the street a man is loading into a hand-drawn cart dozens of red bricks. Each brick has 4 cylindrical holes, and one by one, he lays them on top of their comrades, each singing a soft little clank as they fall.

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Hello, Hanoi (Part 9 of Many) I have not posted for a few days because sometimes this world cuts me like a stone, and I have to wander around half-dead until breathable air arrives.

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And now, a brief word from the Ministry of Health. *     *     * Being a vegetarian in Northern California is almost clichéd; however, being a vegetarian in Vietnam is no small feat.

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Hello, Hanoi (Part 7 of Many) The week leading up to Têt, I was invited by my friends Bắc and Hà to help make banh trung chay, or “square cakes” at their pagoda. These are cakes made out of mung beans and rice, traditionally eaten during the lunar new year. The pagoda where they attend […]

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Hello, Hanoi (Part 6 of Many) Still remembering my first days here… *     *     * The rest of my day was full of pot holes and mud. Everything I wrote smelled like eggs, and I got lost 7 times over.  When I got back home to Bắc’s place, I swore I was buying my plane […]

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Hello, Hanoi (Part 5 of Many) I am sitting on the bed– on “my” bed for the next few months, I suppose. It is a little over a foot off the floor, made from dark mahogany-looking wood, with a woven grass mat on top. My friend and host, Bắc, has given me a couple of […]

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Hello, Hanoi (Part 4 of Many) Of course, I am just as trusting of the Vietnamese family as they are of me. Two hours ago I have stumbled in, following the signs for cafe and wifi, only to find myself sitting in someone’s dining room table cum coffee shop… and when I finally need to […]

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§559 · February 5, 2009 · Adventures in Asia, Location-Location, Narrative · (No comments) · Tags: , ,


Hello, Hanoi (Part 3 of Many) We made it. 3 hours later than I set out to write, I am sitting in someone’s living room drinking strong coffee and sugared lotus seeds. The Xe Om driver, knowing a shortcut, made his way beautifully through traffic and dropped me off in the Tay Ho district. I […]

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Hello, Hanoi (Part 2 of Many) If you think that traveling halfway across the world to live in a busy Asian city where you don’t speak the language, don’t know your way around, and have a very thin grasp on where you’ll find your next meal will make it easier for yourself to write that […]

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§557 · February 4, 2009 · Adventures in Asia, Location-Location, Narrative · 1 comment · Tags: ,