It is very true when they say that if you can drive in Ho Chi Minh, you can drive anywhere in the world. It is also true that crossing the road here is an art that must be perfected by tiger courage aided by a can of 333 Bia.
But for all the mad bustle on the roads (and the incessant and needless honking), I find that the Vietnamese people have a very quiet, gentle air about them. They sit on the side streets people-watching, chatting to each other in a sing-song lilt, smiling shyly when you catch their gaze. It’s a contradictory city, quite like Bangkok. I suspect that might be why I like it so much.
Last weekend in Quebec City was a slip and slide affair; at least for me, with my traction-less boots. They don’t seem to religiously load the streets with an obscene amount of rock salt like they do in Montreal. In any case, I didn’t have to attract unwanted attention with my numerous near-falls; people there just stared as if they never saw an Asian in their lives. Sure way to score a gasp-and-point moment in QC? Put four Asians and one Egyptian together, and go forth in faith.
So I played the young padawan for the day and shadowed the Jedi knight of photography – the very amazing M. With my (comparatively) tiny E-P1 and his family of lenses, we set off for the Plateau, hoping to catch as much daylight as we could. While the light issue wasn’t on our side, I think we did pretty okay in the end. That’s probably what I appreciate so much about Montreal: there aren’t a copious number of cathedrals and travel-guide-endorsed museums to scope out, and the beauty really lies in the neighborhoods and the faces on the street, if you just look a little further than the pages of Lonely Planet.
P/S: You should also check out M‘s pictures here. You can thank me later.
[Tank tunic: H&M. Vest: Cotton On. Cardigan: H&M Men. Tights: Accessorise. Necklace: Topshop. Shoes: Emporio Armani. Bag: Kenneth Cole Reaction.]
While B took J and me in search of an elusive store on an elusive street somewhere in the maze that is Soho, we ended up discovering so many stunning little nooks and crannies that I never even knew existed. Vintage stores without the droves of bounty hunters synonymous with Brick Lane, kitschy prints and stencilled masterpieces hanging in shop windows, bookstores that instantly take you back 50 years, and the most quaint of watering holes I’ve seen in a long time. Have I really been in London for so long and not even once ventured past the high street? I should be so ashamed.
When I see old people sitting alone, I always wonder: Are they there because they choose to be, or are they are because there’s nowhere else they can go, no one else they can sit next to?
I miss my grandmothers today, more than I already do.
It’s been a long time since I had a Happy Meal (or any Maccas meal, for that matter) and even longer since I spent a Sunday at Camden Town. The crazy swirly things they hang everywhere that would suit only the most prepubescent of home decorators, the bursts of color that greet at every street corner, the living punk institutions who never fail to amaze me in the way they deftly interweave badass and girly, the bad waffles and malfunctioning chocolate fondue contraptions, the amazingly well-behaved pooches that trot alongside giant Aldo outlet paperbags and billowy harem pants, the culinary gems that pop up every five stores or, so surviving alongside busy food stalls promising every jumbled ethnic surprise imaginable (curried fried rice samosas, anyone?)…
Hello Camden. It’s been a while.
IF I WERE A BOY… …
I’D COMB THE STREETS OF SEOUL.