In Vietnam – a Haibun
The animal’s despondency amuses me, a kind of light-hearted depression. The skinny-fat dogs shuffling about, teats hanging like grapes. Occasionally yapping at imperceptible visions, snapping at flies, then plonking themselves down, huffing in the heat; perhaps aware of their culinary possibilities? Tired of uncertainties. And the cows: Dozy as dope, sloping across incomplete highways. Slim sexy shoulder bones rising and falling with a combined synchronicity, resigned to their bother-less trawl.
I’m due to meet a boy today at my hotel – precisely 4:00pm. It was a promise made beside a burning lake, in a haze of belief. A cute skinny kid, well dressed, eyes like wishing wells, but poor, obviously poor…He was collecting “realms of different countries” I promised him 5 Singapore dollars and a variety of UK coinage for his collection. Much to my amazement we both turned up! I handed over the currency, and boy did that boy beam…He added the note and coins to his leather bound book of realms, and laughed a laugh. I’m unsure whether he was laughing with me or at me, but he laughed all the same.
So a balance has been addressed: I, taking advantage of this wondrous country, learning precious lessons – how to smoke the local cigarettes, devour the local cuisine. I now smell Vietnamese, earthy, pungent. Once I return home I’ll smell British again, disguise aromas with aftershaves and lotions; return to my own unnatural state.
end of a journey
a myriad of aromas