Nice day today. I met my housemate T for lunch and coffee. She’s Vietnamese but has lived in NZ for years. She teaches English to young Vietnamese but today we just talked about her life and times both in Vietnam and in NZ. Very nice.
We spent a few hours together and it seemed like a wonderful diversion from the bun cha to coffee by the lake. It’s nice going out with a Vietnamese friend and hearing their take on their society and values. She has a unique view since she has lived outside Vietnam for so long.
some of this and that
I’ve been doing gentle yoga now for almost 9 months. It’s been an interesting time watching as I get a little more flexible. And feel better. Perhaps more calm. Then I happened on this story. Very amazing just what this one thing can do when you have no real expectations out of it. She gained so much. I looked over my months and found a few things which have made a difference too. It’s not about some surface gain or quick results. I’m an old guy. I started at 10 minutes a day with the same app the woman uses. I pledged to myself 10 minutes a day. I also was clear I had no demands or expectations from it. I just wanted the daily benefit. And I found it.
After a few months I visited a friend in Saigon. She told me I looked so good. More calm and comfortable. Maybe in my own old retired guy skin. It’s also meant more on the mental and mind things for me. The calm and comfort has extended to how I feel mentally. If you haven’t tried it, yoga is not some sweaty and headstand thing. It can be as gentle and slow as you want. The gain is across many areas of life from the mental to the physical.
When I started, touching my toes was a memory. Doing the so-called waterfall position was impossible. I am able now to touch my toes and bend over and put my hands on floor with legs almost straight. I can also do the waterfall position. It’s not with ease. But I can see the changes and I like them. Give it a try if you want something that crosses boundaries from meditation to physical activity. The Down Dog app has been great for me. On iOS and Android devices.
then back again
Then I just come back to this life. This wonderful, slow movement which is like a slow progression of moments. From this to that. Someone asked me if I were happy. Yes I am. There’s so little that it takes for me. I don’t need physical things like laptops and apartments and furniture.
So done for the day. Now it’s the evening in Hanoi. Motorbikes zooming and people laughing. Babies crying. Next door neighbors drinking bottles of Hanoi beer. They smile and nod. I guess I’m accepted in the neighborhood now. When I go back to my old neighborhood here in Ba Dinh district, I get greeted so warmly and invited for coffee by one small coffee house I frequented. The lady that makes some really good pho and her husband walk out to shake my hand. Life here. So rich. People so friendly. Kids yelling “hello” from the back of scooters. I am rich in the things that count. This is the land of 10,000 hellos or as they say here Xin Chao.
Take care you all. Have good times.