Vietnam Diary 5 (Nhat Ky 5)

Despite the fact that I haven't quite made it to VN yet, this is my fifth diary entry. I'm in the Hong Kong airport drinking Starbucks coffee and enduring my final layover before I make the hop over to Hanoi this afternoon. If you asked me exactly how long I've been in transit I wouldn't be able to tell you -- once you cross the international dateline flying west for 18 hours, the elasticity of time becomes weirdly evident. The Hong Kong airport also looks like a larger version of the Ottawa and Vancouver BC airports from which I started my trip, which lends a spatial element to my temporal confusion. The good news is that it's mid-morning and, having slept a bit on the plane, I am not entirely wiped out. No telling how I'll feel by the time I actually check into the Spring Hotel on Nha Chung street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. I'm hoping to have the energy to shower, take a walk, and eat dinner at a banh cuon stall.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

2 thoughts on “Vietnam Diary 5 (Nhat Ky 5)”

  1. joseph, some day you might write a bob dylan-esque medley abt airports and how them meld and morph and segue into lyric melodies streaming through skies and clouds laced in with agendas and expectations and longings that are part homesickness and at least another part reverie with all the confusions of youth and age attenuated into those moments before dawn before you are fully conscious. ed

  2. Ed, you have much more romantic view of travel than I do! It is weird, though, how a long trip by air, with several layovers, puts one right outside of time. The return to temporal normality can be quite a strange experience — for instance, I’m writing this at around four in the morning, which I assure you is not a normal time for me to be responding to a comment on my blog!

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