Sunday, August 9, 2009

'you go number 2.'

I just got in from my most recent motorbike tour through Hue, which hands down has to be my most favorite thing to do in Vietnam. It is the ideal way to experience all the beautiful minutiae that make travel so exhilarating and breathtaking. Probably more so because motorbikes are so classically Vietnamese and somehow accentuate the whole experience, just like a good wine can do for a great meal.
The rice is turning gold in this part of the country and the stalks have begun to tip over from the weight of the grains. The lower part of the stalks remain green leaving the fields a lush green bronzed with ripeness. It is funny for me to think back on my first trip through Hue, when they were tilling the muddy fields and burning stalks from the last harvest. Now these same fields rest on the verge of another agricultural cycle and I am still here being stunned by Vietnam's beauty.
We stopped at one point to see water buffalo and two calves neck deep in green water staring at us from behind a cluster of giant bamboo. Then we passed a cyclo loaded down with fire wood being peddled by an old man. Another cyclo creaked by with two meter and a half tall gas canisters. Two girls squatted on their heels played in a flower pot, lost in their own world. Above it all the purple gray clouds just obscured the late afternoon sun. How much poetry can be locked up in one hour in Vietnam?
On our way home from the tour a moto passed me, the man driving was dressed in a white button front shirt with thin stripes, his girlfriend straddled behind him in a flowing pink blouse with a cascade of ebony hair down her back. He smiled at me as they passed, his girlfriend reaching under his chin to secure his teal helmet under his chin. They were so beautiful that it made my chest tighten, not in that air brushed hollywood way, but in that beauty of fitting perfectly into the scene.

The title is quote from one of the moto drivers explaining that one of my passengers would now be riding behind another girl after we lost the use of one of the bikes to a flat tire. It consequently made me giggle into the wind for five minutes straight.

tạm biệt!

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