Sophie

 

Got myself an early Christmas present a few days ago.

Her name is Sophie, as inspired by the girl in Sophie’s World.

I was planning to bring her to the office and place her on my desk to accompany me through working hours, but I’m having second thoughts.

She feels so fragile, so pure… it is almost sacrilegious to put her among all the worldly chaos.

 

 

So, in my room and on my table she will remain, sheltered from the noise and unbearables of the world.

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‘A Wild Sheep Chase’ and ‘Dance Dance Dance’

“The “world” – the word always makes me think of a tortoise and elephants tirelessly supporting a gigantic disc. The elephants have no knowledge of the tortoise’s role, the tortoise is unable to see what the elephants are doing. And neither is least aware of the world on their backs.”

“No promises you’re gonna be happy, the Sheep Man had said. So you gotta dance. Dance so it all keeps spinning.”

Maybe we all have a Sheep Man within us. In the other world, in the other part of us, kept hidden, sometimes even from ourselves.

We’re just too caught up in the world of advanced capitalism to see It.

The French Quarter of Hanoi

Our final full day in Hanoi was spent exploring the French Quarter.

 

First stop was the infamous Hoa Lo prison, where we were duly educated on how the Vietnamese Freedom Fighters were horribly mistreated by French colonialists, and how American pilots incarcerated here during the Vietnam War were given great respect and freedom within the prison.

Certainly got us thinking about historical perspectives.

 

 

 

 

The exhibits and structures made the visit meaningful enough, albeit a little chilling, when you think about the numbers who suffered and died.

 

 

Lunch was delicious Vietnamese Vegetarian fare, and dessert was a lovely cat with the loudest Meow.

 

 

The afternoon was spent walking down lanes, exploring book stores, sitting down to read at an outdoor cafe near the Opera House (until some bees started harassing us) and catching a film (The classic “Nutcracker”) at the Hanoi Cinematheque. There were less than 7 people in the cosy theatre. Absolutely Perfect.

 

 

The day ended with us attending a concert at the Hanoi Opera House. A concert to commemorate ___ years of Vietnam-Korea relations, and the 100th Anniversary of the Opera House.

 

 

A perfect ending to a perfect day.

And with this, we have come to the end of our adventure in Hanoi.

Did I mention, perfect?

HoaLu – Tam Coc

Names which, when pronounced by locals sound as elegant and as beautiful as the places themselves, but when pronounced by us, sound like some Vietnamese vulgarity (if they have any).

 

 

Did you know that HoaLu was the ancient capital of Vietnam?

A serene and lovely place. Full of ancient kingly vibes.

 

 

At Tam Coc, we met this cute and greedy goat. Fed him some biscuits and he was all over us in seconds.

The highlight of the day would have to be the sail down the river at Tam Coc. Caves such as this one below made me jittery like crazy. For one, I was really worried that either one of us, or worse still – the boat lady – might hit our head against the low ceiling and suffer a concussion. Secondly, I was quite sure I saw a bat. A dormant bat, but a bat, nonetheless.

But oh well. It was all worth it, considering the close to 2 hours of immersion in pristine nature!

Everything in its Time