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In the City of Dragons



The traffic in Hanoi is very zen: it requires one to live in the moment and be completely aware of oneself and one’s surroundings. Without thinking, you wade into the traffic as if walking through a stream, slowly and with careful mindfulness. The constant honking reminds us, like Thich Nhat Hanh taught, to return to ourselves. The honking of the participants in this scene is not malicious, but instead a bizarre communication tool: an assertion of one’s presence.

I wander Hai Ba Trung district, not lost, but not completely sure of where I am, either. You would think that if you made a left and a left and a left and a left, you would end up somewhere close to where you started, but in Hanoi this is sadly not the case. After my many lefts, I am somewhere I vaguely recognize, but I am not sure which direction to go. I don’t hesitate to admit when I am lost, but generally refuse to go backwards. Going back is an admission of not knowing where to go, which is unspeakable. This is probably how I ended up in Vietnam in the first place.



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