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Catching up on things in Hanoi

We have about 5 days left in enhanced social distancing here in Hanoi. The government has implemented limits on entering and leaving major cities and public transit like buses and taxis plus ridesharing options like Grab are impacted. I cannot really get to other places in the city easily so I don’t go. Down the street is my local market where they are very eager to see fresh fruit and there are small stores and a bakery, a smaller pharmacy and some limited street food available. I went Wednesday and got a lot of nice oranges, pears, some apples and pineapple cut up.

I had gone shopping twice at Big C markets before the limits on ridesharing. I bought numerous containers of instant noodles but realized soon I cannot be happy with that. I need real meals. So luckily Grab Food delivery can bring me just about anything within about 20 minutes. I’ve had pizza and chicken dishes. Yesterday had a really nice chicken combo dinner with salad and rice for about $4. I always tip the delivery folks no matter what the order costs. I just feel they are doing this necessary and wonderful and essential service to all of us. We get fresh food delivered which is a blessing.

Outside of my room are these little alleys that have apartments and homes. I can hear kids playing. Sometimes music is playing. It’s a reminder of basic life and joy of living and the Vietnamese moms and dads are no different than others in wanting happiness and joy and safety for their kids.

time goes fast and slow

It’s not terribly difficult remaining in my room or shopping but time seems to speed up and slow down and it makes me remember it really does not exist and we enable our beliefs in it to be a blessing or curse. Living in Vietnam now is perhaps much easier than other places in Europe or the US. We still have the same worries as others trapped or wanting to remain in a relatively safer place until things stabilize a bit. Truth is we cannot leave now and if we could probably could not get back in again. My Vietnamese friends that work closer to government officials have told me to be safe and extend my visa here. They all believe by August basic transit to neighboring countries like Laos and Cambodia will be easier and I’ll be able to get back.

It still causes a live in the moment sense but no fear or anxiety. I can sit here in my room and observe almost like a disconnected fan how my times change. I do feel removed from it all in many ways.

documenting the moments

I’m convinced that writing now will let others see how a person like me dealt with life after lockdown and enhanced distancing. It’s like a picture in a frame of moving landscape where the hidden wheels turn behind the photographs letting you see a gradually changing scene bit I remain constant and unmoving. Moments shift by and clocks tick the day away.

I now do not read a lot of blogs. I’ve become convinced that mainstream bloggers do not do the creation to provide anything of real value besides to their pockets. So I stop reading them. It’s sad really that these same bloggers could be impassioned voices but feel no desire to tell people about their lives now.

So I will just continue here to tell you about my journey of one. How Hanoi Vietnam deals with the aspects and issues and good times and bad. How a single poor country outdistanced the mighty US in managing the response in a humane and credible way.

But most of all it’s about what I see day to day. My feelings. The children playing. Basketballs bouncing. Parents calling children to eat. You know. The moments of life. We all have those.

It’s up to us if we speak out. Blogging could be a force of information and creativity. Those days though have passed I fear.

Stay tuned because I’ll continue to tell my story here. Maybe share a photograph or two. Tell you my little adventures good and bad. Perhaps it gives you a flavor of how humanity deals with this and how different Vietnam and the US are.

Take care all. Flatten the curve. Be healthy and well.

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