Monday, March 30, 2009


Sidewalks around town are slowly coming back together again. I haven't meant to harp on this, but it’s been a daily struggle. Right after Tết, the powers that be decided to tear them all up and replace them again. They did it all at once. I suspect this has something to do with a grand municipal attempt to circum-schedule both the big New Year celebration and the coming rainy season, which might begin in May. I also suspect, under the rules of good luck and godspeed, that this very schedule is why it's been raining at least once every week. I have a pretty platonic relationship with superstition. I pick and choose my beliefs in the least sexy ways. And like washing the car, leaving big dirty troughs along congested downtown motorways is just begging for rain. I came away from last year with hard and fast rules about the Vietnamese weather. During all of that first hot season, discounting the mercurial transitions from the rainy season, well, it was bone dry. I remember one big storm and one little drizzle. That's it. For the rest of those six months it didn't rain. I even explained, in no uncertain terms, to everyone who would listen: half the year it rains, and half the year it doesn't--a perfect two-season delineation you can set your calendar by. While I firmly hold that it's possible my one year history in Vietnam doesn't quite afford me the authority to wax so certain about these things, it's hard not to believe, when slopping though gravelly mud in the scooter lanes, edging past long muddy pools and construction equipment and stacked sidewalk tiles and roadway crew tents hung with drying laundry, that this rain has not been a direct result of city planning. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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