Taking a break

vietnam. ho chi minh, cholon

I’m going on a short break, probably the shortest international trip for me thus far. Very much because i was looking for beyond borders for a long weekend, and enabled by jetstar’s fantastic last-minute sale fares. It’ll be my first time in the capital of vietnam– ho chi minh city, and i’m feeling the familiar anticipation of a new place. I usually prefer lengthy travels (or trudges, depending on who you ask). I like the transitions they allow; a break seems a little too much of a fling. But of all the words in english, a break must be one of the few that is so casual, malleable, and yet so latently evocative and powerful. I need a break, do you want a break, let’s take a break. And what a break this is: absolutely zero prior knowledge and little preparation, and the tightest delimited period. A blind date with a place.

It’s easy to forget ho chi minh actually refers back to the teacher-revolutionary himself who led vietnam to independence in 1945. So it feels as if i must also visit the person as well the place (not literally since his grave lies in hanoi). It’s a pity i wont have the depth of time, but a name here, monument there, a lined face, scarred hands and unique trades– these are like little clues and keys to a place and its very long story of coming to be.

Isn’t that what we are also so focused about as individuals? How we are going to be. Which can not be answered without first appreciating how we have come to be. So i’m glad i’ll be able to break from the forward-treadmill. And breathe. Fantastic vehicle fumes notwithstanding.


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