Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Happy first of October! Reports from North Carolina tell me it feels like a nice fall morning. Crisp, clear, and even a little chilly if the wind is taken into consideration. That's good. It's not so obviously October here. The sky is clear, so it's hazily sunny. It's also very warm, a fuzzy eighty-eight degrees, rendered somewhat cloying by building damp. We haven't had a storm in many hours. The air had that translucent yellow greenhouse glow all afternoon, making me feel like the world was trapped inside a cheap plastic squirt gun being ever-so-slowly reloaded. A storm must have come through this morning, sometime before I woke up. It was evidently powerful enough to scatter green leaves and seed pods along the streets lining the nearby park. Women, dressed in municipal orange, pushed carts along the outer lanes of Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai Street, using bundles of straw to rake the sidewalks. Squinting, this could seem kinda autumn-like, I guess--urban southeast Asian yard work. Standing on our balcony earlier, during the last few minutes of sunset, I could faintly pick out the smell of wood smoke in the air. This isn't all that surprising: people had erected temporary restaurants on the sidewalks fourteen floors below, cooking food in clay pots over fires built right on the concrete. This is a daily ritual along Le Quy Don Street, just to my northeast. That's because, sometime between five and six, the city-block-sized school there disgorges what may be ten thousand uniformed kids onto the surrounding sidewalks. A little industry crops up every day at this time: blankets are spread with school supplies, ice cream vendors honk* their wares, and little niche restaurants set out plastic tables and stoke up the pavement. It's carnivalesque, sure, but is it autumnlike? [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

Post a Comment

<< Back to the Beginner.
<< To main Update page.